Empire stars Gabourey Sidibe and Jussie Smollett appeared on last night’s Watch What Happens Live, and they were so giddy, they were at least halfway to Jackée. Early in the episode, host Andy Cohen asked how many cocktails Smollett had imbibed and the actor’s response was, “Andy, I don’t even know. I’m trying to be classy.”
Trying is one thing. When a caller called in to ask what qualities Smollett was looking for in a mate, he said, “Somebody nice, somebody loyal, somebody that’s not a... I was about to curse, my bad. Somebody that’s just not an a-hole. Got a a-hole, but not a a-hole.” Then he took Sidibe’s lead, and joked that he liked her a-hole.
Later, someone tweeted in a question asking if he was into white guys and he awkwardly, with little chill and much deliberation, dodged the question.
Smollett wasn’t so lit that he was entirely allergic to seriousness. A caller asked about his biggest concern was in playing a gay character on Empire. Smollett replied:
Nothing...I didn’t have any hesitance. I mean, my life is my life in real life, and then on top of it, I feel like Jamal is just a great character. It was a wonderful chance and a crazy, crazy great opportunity so I certainly wasn’t afraid of that.
In response to Cohen’s question about 50 Cent blaming Empire’s ratings dip on “extra gay stuff,” Smollett said, “I don’t know him,” and elaborated:
Smollett’s initial comment on 50 was a reference to Mariah Carey’s famous Jennifer Lopez shade (“I don’t know her”). Earlier in the show, Sidibe and Smollett played a game in which they had to shout out whatever came to mind about various Empire guest stars. When Carey, who’ll appear on the third season of the show, came up, Sidibe’s response was “late,” which sounds exactly right given Carey’s reputation.