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Rosie O'Donnell to Guest on Empire

Rosie O'Donnell to Guest on 'Empire'

Rosie O'Donnell to Guest on 'Empire'

She's one of several big names appearing on the series' second season.

A lot of major Hollywood names want to be part of the red-hot series Empire, with Rosie O’Donnell now joining Marisa Tomei, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Pitbull, and Ludacris in guesting on the series’ second season.

The stars all “wanted to be part of the phenomenon,” notes The Hollywood Reporter in an article describing a hectic day on the set of the series, which revolves around music mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), his recently imprisoned wife, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), and their sons, one of whom is gay (played by Jussie Smollett). 

There’s no word yet on which episode O’Donnell will appear in or the role she’s playing, but Tomei will be featured in the season 2 premiere, airing next Wednesday on Fox, as a billionaire venture capitalist trying to take over the Lyons’ record label. And she happens to be a lesbian.

“In the first season, you’re sort of begging people to come and work with you, and we heard a lot of ‘no,’” showrunner Ilene Chaiken, of L Word fame, told the Reporter. “Then in season 2, there were a lot of people who reached out to us and said, ‘Hey, I want to do something.’”

One thing that hasn’t changed, say the cast and crew, is the series’ willingness to address a variety of social issues. “We’d be cowards if we dealt with something like pop music and pop culture and we didn’t deal with the things that are going on in our world today, whether it’s mental illness, homophobia, racism, classicism, sexism, or police brutality,” Smollett told the Reporter.


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Trudy Ring