Terrence Howard Says He Misses Jussie Smollett on 'Empire'

Terrence Howard appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden to discuss the sixth and final season of Empire. An interesting tidbit from the chat is how Howard feels the show seems to be "on a heart and lung bypass machine" since Jussie Smollet's character Jamal Lyon was written off the season following the actor's high-profile arrest.

"I mean the show kicked off because I took my 4-year-old son and put him in the trash can because he had worn high heel shoes down on the stairs," Howard explained as he defended Smollett. "I was so proud of that young man that played my son because he still loved me at the end of it. And all he wanted to do was get closer to me."

"And then, out of nowhere, you know, he's snatched away from us," he continued. "So it's like now he was the heart of our show and now it's like our show is on a heart and lung bypass machine. Because the heart is gone, but we're still hoping there's going to be a transplant and hoping somehow it'll come back together."

"I'm sorry to bring you guys down," he added after sharing how he felt.

Smollett was arrested in February for allegedly filing a false police report claiming to have been a victim of a hate crime. Since then, all charges were dropped but the city of Chicago is seeking reimbursement from the actor that would cover the investigation fee of more than $130,000. Because of what happened, this led to Smollett being written out of the last two episodes of Season 5 as well.

The story showed fans Jamal's mother Cookie [Taraji P. Henson] saying he left for London for good to get out of their family drama — something that wouldn't be out of the ordinary for the character since he's ventured off several times in hopes of starting a new, less dramatic, life out of the public eye.

Howard says that he and the entire cast are "still trying to put the pieces together," adding, "cause my son is gone. My son. that was my little boy and he's gone now and they don't mention him as if it's OK. And it's, like, no. That's not cool."

Howard confessed that he's ready for the show to end saying, "thank God" not because he doesn't like the cast, but because his character, Lucious Lyon, is a lot to take on.

"Well only because my character has never had a good day. My son will commit suicide, I'll go and kill my best friend and then I'll sit up and have eggs and complain about the yolk being runny in the morning, as if I don't care," he explained. "And then the next day I have to go and love my wife, but then go and try to sabotage her at the end of the day. I'm a complete sociopath and psychopath."

When Corden asked if he was going to miss the role, he responded with, "A little." The most shocking of it all is that the actor plans on walking away from the business all together for a little while to "be real for a minute."


"I'm so done with pretending to be people and I just want to be real for a minute, you know?" he revealed. "Like Colin Farrell told me when I was in Ireland. He said, 'Why don't you just not bathe for a month and smell yourself and see who you are.' I don't know about the not bathing, but I do want to know who the hell I am."

"I've been being so many people for so many years and it's time for me just to be Terry for a little bit," he added.