Empire Cast: Did You Know...?

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Empire is the hottest show on network television.

It came storming out of the gate in early 2015 and has not looked back since, entertaining fans across the country with colorful characters, crazy storylines and original music.

Here's a rundown of 11 facts about the Empire cast and crew that you may not have previously known...

1. Before Creating Empire...

Before Creating Empire...
... Lee Daniels got his start in Hollywood as a casting director. One of his first projects was Prince’s classic movie, Purple Rain, as well as the Purple One’s less well-known film, Under The Cherry Moon.

2. A Smart Gal

A Smart Gal
Prior to earning an Academy Award nomination and then an Emmy nod as Cookie Lyon, Taraji P. Henson’s first role was on the show Smart Guy. She portrayed a 16-year-old student…even though she was actually a 26-year-old at the time.

3. Can He Keep the Faith?

Can He Keep the Faith?
Terrence Howard and his first wife raised their kids to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Howard once told NPR that he struggles with religion because he sometimes wants to do things that do not align with his faith.

4. A Family Matter

A Family Matter
Jussie Smollett is the older brother of Jurnee Smollett, best known for roles on Friday Night Lights and True Blood. They have siblings named Jake, Jazz, Jojo and Jocqui.

5. First Time for Everything

First Time for Everything
Bryshere Gray has actually never acted before. He was trying to make it as a rapper before landing the role of Hakeem.

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