“Empire” Star Trai Byers Says He Almost Quit Acting To Be A Pastor After Struggling To Find Work
As tormented as the character of Andre is on “Empire,” the opportunity to play the power-hungry son of Lucious Lyon on the hit Fox show is major for Trai Byers. The handsome actor has been very blessed within the last year or so. Not only did he land a big role on the show everyone’s talking about, but he also played James Forman in the critically-acclaimed film, Selma. But things weren’t always flourishing in Byer’s career. In an interview on “The Meredith Vieira Show,” he said that after struggling to find work as an actor in 2013, he was close to quitting to become a man of the cloth.
“In 2013 I did not work at all just contemplating what I needed to do if I was walking in my destiny or not. Is this what Trai wants to do? I am a big Christian so I always talk about that. Is this what God wants me to do? I really contemplated changing going into something else. I am very passionate about God and religion and I thought maybe I’m supposed to be a pastor. I don’t know. I was open to being used in any way that was aligned for me destiny wise and Empire came. Right after Empire, Selma came. Then to look later down the line to see Empire was premiering on Wednesday night, the same week on Friday Selma was going wide, like, you couldn’t time it like that.”
Vieira: “Did you believe it was a message?”
Byers: “Yes! Stay where you are [laughs]”
And the show has definitely blown up. Byers revealed how the cast found out they were given the greenlight for a second season.
“The core cast were on our way to the TCAs in Los Angeles, all on a plane together. It’s the Television Critics Association. So we’re landing in LA and this man sitting next to me, he has a baseball cap on, regular guy, unassuming guy. As soon as we land they tell us we can turn our phones on. He turns his on and says, “Hey, you know you were just picked up for a second season right?” I’m like, “Really?” I’m sitting in the middle, Yazz is in the front. Taraji and Jussie are across from me and Terrence is in the back. I’m like, “We just got picked up for a second season y’all” and the front of the plane just erupts. I’m sure we scared the mess out of the people in the back [laughs].”
Lee Daniels shared that he was trying to get Denzel Washington to appear on the show after the acting legend revealed that he loved it, so everyone is wondering, will we see Washington in season two? Byers hopes so.
“Wouldn’t that be great? I love Denzel. The show is huge. And with a huge show comes a lot of rumors. I couldn’t say whether he was or was not, but that would be great! Hopefully he does.”
Glad to see things working out so well for Byers. But if he ever does decide to give the whole pastor calling a try, I’m available to be a first lady! You were thinking it too…