Jamal has been struggling in the first few episodes of ‘Empire’ season 3. After nearly dying at the hands of Freda, Jamal has struggled to find his voice again. HollywoodLife.com talked EXCLUSIVELY with Jussie Smollett about Jamal’s journey, and he admits this is ‘toughest season’ for him and his character so far!
“I will say this, I am very happy where Jamal is going,” Jussie, 33, told HollywoodLife.com. “This is probably the toughest season that I have done so far because this season really has made me have to do real research and not just digging inside of myself. But real research on PTSD and panic attacks and things like that. It really has made me do the extra, extra work! And I love it, and without giving to much away this season I love where Jamal is.”
In the Oct. 5 episode, Jamal went to a group therapy session to help get over his PTSD. Being shot and almost losing his life changed Jamal forever, and it’s been difficult for him to recover and move forward.
Jamal finally sang for the first time without a panic attack in the same episode, when he hit the studio with Mariah Carey’s character, Kitty. However, he needed prescription pills to get through the performance, and it appears Jamal may be going down a very self-destructive path. For Jussie, this road would be a way for him to really flex his skills as an actor and give Jamal a meaty storyline.
Speaking of Mariah, her character and Jamal performed one beautiful duet together in the episode, and Jussie told us it was a dream come true working with Mimi.
“I was talking to her the other day to thank her, but she didn’t have to show the incredible amount of support that she has to me personally,” Jussie said. “But she has, and I am very honored to work with her. It is everything!”
Empire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.
HollywoodLifers, do you like where Jamal is heading this season? Let us know!