Empire is definitely a show that keeps you on the edge of your seats. Led by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as “Luscious and Cookie Lyon, ” respectively; it has become television’s hottest show. Not only has the show done wonders for its main stars, but has truly launched Jussie Smollett, Yazz The Greatest, and Trai Byers into super-stardom. You would think no actor would want to walk away from such a big gig. Well rumor has it that one of the Lyon Brothers is not too happy with the show, or how his skills as an actor are being utilized.
Trai Byers, who plays “Andre Lyon,” has been allegedly wants out of Empire! The producers of the show are apparently ready to let him go for rumored diva-like behavior.
From Page Six:
Trai wants out,” said an insider. “He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian’ . . . The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”
While Byers was ecstatic to land a role on “Empire” in its debut season, sources said he doesn’t agree with the direction the show’s taken.
“At first, being on ‘Empire’ was major for him. But he feels his character is not as important this season, and he hates not being the star,” said a source. “He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji and Terrence. He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”
Another insider added: “Trai threw a temper tantrum during filming in the past few weeks, saying, ‘I don’t get to do enough, I might leave.’ But producers called his bluff and said, ‘Fine, if you’re not happy, we don’t need you.’ He thinks he is a brilliant guy who deserves a better role, but he’s hardly one of the most popular or dynamic actors on the show.”
The insider added: “He also fired all his reps for not getting him big movie roles.”
“…was up for a new Muhammad Ali movie, and in his mind he was very close to getting it,” another source said. “He fired [his team] when he didn’t, and now no one knows how to reach out to him. He’s even fired ICM.
We really hope this is not true. The character of Andre is an important member of the Lyon Family, offering stark contrast to his otherwise zany parents, power hungry brother, Hakeem, and Jamal’s artsy pursuits of love and fulfillment. Andre is about business, something that Empire is ultimately all about. Another source close to the show states:
“It’s the last week of filming the season, and he’s not quitting, nor is he being fired, for now.”
I guess we will know when Season 3 debuts this Fall, or if his fiancee Grace Gealey, AKA “Anika Calhoun,” and better known as “Boo Boo Kitty” abruptly leaves as well. We will keep you posted!