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Jussie Smollett Reveals How He Found Out He Got the Part in 'Empire'

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Jussie Smollett arrives in style at the Non-Televised 47th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California
Photo Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Before taking to the stage at the 9th annual BET Honors to revere Empire co-creator Lee Daniels with captivating renditions of Empire’s single, “Powerful” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Jussie Smollett revealed how he found out he got the part as Jamal Lyon on Fox’s hit musical drama.

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Daniels, who received tribute for his contributions to television and film, casually sent Smollett an SMS.

“Lee texted me and he said it’s capital Y, capital O, capital U and I said, ‘Lee,’ and he said, ‘Yes, Jussie,' and that’s when I found out I got the role,” Smollett shares with USA Today. “That’s the thing about Lee. He’s so old-school Hollywood, you know? He loves to give you a good story to tell.”

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“I keep saying this but he’s changed my life in ways that no one will ever be able to understand — until I write a book,” he joked. “As a man, he’s changed my life in a huge, huge way. He’s firmly made me plant my feet in the ground and walk in my truth."

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“Just tell the truth,” Smollett repeats. “That’s it. You know, it’s so simple. The thought of it is so simple, but it’s so hard to do sometimes. That’s what Lee is about. That’s what his art is about. He represents that.”

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