Mario is joining the long list of celebrity guest stars on our favorite hip hop musical drama, Empire.
The R&B singer, who recently released a new album, Dancing Shadows, is set to star as Devon, an inspiring singer who Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, discovered on Instagram in tonight’s episode.
Mario told ESSENCE that his character is a “very respectable young man, who comes from humble beginnings. He’s just trying to take care of his sister, who’s sick. They lost both of their parents, but he’s really focused on the craft of his music.”
The Baltimore native said that he was blessed to work opposite Henson, who tries to develop him as an artist and “bring out more of his truth in the music.”
“You really see kind of like an artist development in this character, which is good today because a lot of artists don’t think artist development is important — but it is,” he added.
Mario said he’s sure that Empire fans “will fall in love with the character” because he’s not here for the drama. “He’s very poised; kind of like me in a sense,” he explained.
The “Drowning” singer said that after working with the hit Fox series it inspired him “to step back into the acting scene,” and in fact he’s auditioned for another movie role which he’s hoping to nab.
Mario said expect him to flex more of his multi-hyphenate skills on the big screen soon.
“I am an actor. I am activist. I am a person who takes the culture very seriously,” he boasted.