An image for Taraji P Henson

Taraji P Henson, Terence Howard and Lee Daniels give us some insight into our favorite characters and the new season.

Everyone should know about the return of Empire on Thursday 28 September at 21:00 on FOX.

Empire left with a cliff hanger as Lucious lost his memory after a foiled planned by Andre and his co-conspirators to kill him.

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- Taraji and Terence talk Empire

This is after he'd told Cookie that he was in love with her all along and handed control of the empire to Andre. 

There's always a yin to yang as Hakeem was finally reunited with Bella but Anika was framed for murder and arrested.

Meanwhile the DuBois family is still plotting the fall of the Lyons as they planted a family member as Jamal's new love interest. 

FOX Africa had the opportunity to chat with Lee Daniels (Creator, writer and executive producer), Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon), Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon) and Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) to chat about the upcoming season so here's what we can expect in the new season. 

Forest Whitaker joins cast 
So as you may or may not have known we can expect to see Forest Whitaker this season as Lucious's old mentor Uncle Eddie.

So how does Terrence feel about this? I mean they do have a past together.  “Forest has been a mentor to me in my own personal life.  The role I played in Crash was initially Forest’s role - Forest had stepped out to do his directorial debut, and recommended that I come and play that character.  And so for him to be a mentor of mine on this show - one of the things we haven’t seen with Lucious is who are his past friends.  
For me, to tap into someone with the integrity and the backbone of an actor, that’s one of the things you want when you consider yourself a serious actor - to have someone to sharpen your teeth against.”  

“So being able to work with somebody like Forest, I don’t know who’s going to take the frame at the end of the day, and that’s a blessing for me and for the audience as a whole. It raises what we’re doing on the show.”

Cookie and Lucious
We love this couple. They are always hot and cold with each other but they have a solid bond which started out from when they were younger. We wonder if they’ll finally be together.

Taraji says “I just knew what these characters needed. Obviously, these two have a  friendship first - they fell in love when they were really young, so when I got the script, I knew it had to be somebody I trusted as an artist."

"And in life we’re friends. If you see us, people will always call us Cookie and Lucious, but that’s us in life. This is my guy here. And I knew I needed this. However many years this show goes, that’s a long time to spend with a person, and with the complicated places these characters have to go, I could not see doing it without him. It was a no-brainer for me. And I think that’s a big part of the success (of the show), because when you talk about Empire, that’s who you think about - mamma bear and papa bear. So yeah, absolutely, in real life that’s how we are. It only helps the characters.”

The Fandom

Empire has a large following so do the fans comments and suggestions make it on to the show?
"The fans know the truth, and you listen to your fans. They’ll tell us if they don’t like something. They’re very clear, they’re very loud and when they’re unhappy, we know," Lee Daniels. 

Last year DStv had opportunity to interview Taraji and Terence Howard see what they had to say in the video below: