Jussie Smollett talks impact of Jamal coming out on ‘Empire’

Jussie Smollett/FOX Screenshot
Jussie Smollett/FOX Screenshot

On becoming friends with his own character

“When I met with the writers [of ‘Empire’], I was telling them that I’ve been able to go through the journey with Jamal. In some ways, I learn from him and he learns from me, at least in the sense of what I’m able to bring from the character. I’m bouncing back and forth with this character and it’s almost like–I’m sure this will sound a little strange from an outsider looking in–I’m having a friendship with this person who does not realistically exist. I’m almost able to have conversations with myself about the pieces of me that are all the way me, and the pieces of me that are Jamal. To find ways for these two people to bleed together has been very freeing for me. I don’t hide behind [Jamal], but he is in a place I’d like to be–-it’s scary, but it’s also freeing.”

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