*Taraji P. Henson will reunite with her “Hustle & Flow” co-star Terrence Howard for yet another hip-hop themed project…this time for television.
The “Person Of Interest” alum has been cast as the female lead in Fox’s “Empire,” a drama pilot from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Imagine’s Brian Grazer. Also cast in the project, written by Strong and to be directed by Daniels, is Jussie Smollet, the 30-year-old older brother of actress Jurnee Smollett.
As previously reported, “Empire” centers on Lucious Lyon (Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public. Raised on the streets, he has never backed away from a fight and will resort to any measures, fair or foul, to defend his beloved Empire.
Actor Terrence Howard attends the EXPERIENCE: East Meets West event hosted by the Beverly Hills chamber of commerce at Crustacean on February 5, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California
*Terrence Howard is headed to television to topline “Empire,” Fox’s hip hop-themed drama pilot from director Lee Daniels, writer Danny Strong and Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer.
Howard will play Lucious Lyon, a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public. Raised on the streets, he has never backed away from a fight and will resort to any measures, fair or foul, to defend his beloved Empire.
The project extends Howard’s relationship with Fox, where he co-stars on the upcoming event series “Wayward Pines.”
Oprah Winfrey attends the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival Montecito Award to Oprah Winfrey at the Arlington Theatre on February 5, 2014 in Santa Barbara, California
*The 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award was presented on Wednesday evening to Montecito’s most celebrated resident, Oprah Winfrey, before a capacity crowd at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre.
The Hollywood Reporter details the event:
Almost immediately upon dancing onto the stage and taking her seat across from the moderator, Los Angeles Times columnist John Horn, Winfrey, who turned 60 last week, made light of the fact that she was receiving an award for her collective cinematic “body of work.”
She openly acknowledged that it encompasses fewer than a half-dozen films over 29 years – “The Color Purple” (1985), “Native Son” (1986), “Beloved” (1998) and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013), plus three animated films for which she voiced characters — and that she’s not entirely proud of all of those. Instead, she said, she saw the evening as a warm embrace from her neighbors — and one that will inspire her to do her best at whatever film-related endeavor comes next, be it “acting, producing — or maybe even directing,” she teased.
*Hip hop has always had its share of pure unadulterated drama and now Fox is set to bring it to TV.
To do that, the network has given the green light … a pilot order … to “Empire” from director Lee Daniels and writer Danny Strong. The collaboration also includes Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer.
*Some positive news for black men!
Forest Whitaker is among 28 black men who will be recognized by BET and ICON MANN.
The partnership is to celebrate the positivity black men have impacted on the US and the around the world.