Taraji Henson

Will excess spoil “Empire”?

When “Empire” arrived six years ago, it brought waves of optimism.
This would be the best of both worlds: The music would be vibrant – R-&-B, rap, pop, more – and the stories (about a record mogul, his wife and their three sons) would have a Shakespearean influence.
The pilot film had a “King Lear” reference. When Trai Byers auditioned (successfully) for the role of Andre, he and co-creator Danny Strong talked about “Hamlet.”
And now? Sure, “Empire” feels a little like Shakespeare’s scenes … but just the ones where a guy talks to ghosts or where witches cackle or where someone gets a donkey head. Read more…