Three new stars are joining Fox’s “Empire,” and two of them have been cast to play young versions of Cookie Lyon and Lucious Lyon. On Thursday, it was announced that Jeremy Carver and Ajiona Alexus will be joining the cast for Season 3, along with actor Ezri Walker.
Carver joins as a teenage Lucious (Terrence Howard), while Alexus will play a teenage Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Deadline reports. Walker was cast as a character named Zeah, a nerdy 16-year-old who’s an aspiring rapper. “With his high GPA and serious smarts, this teenager finds himself torn between a future at an elite university and a career at Empire under the guidance of the legendary Lucious Lyon,” a character description reads.
According to the outlet, Carver and Alexus’ characters will be shown in flashbacks. A young Cookie is described as a “beautiful” and “innocent” teen who still has that “Cookie spark” even though she’s attending Catholic school. The teen version of Lucious is said to have a “bad-boy edge” that quickly captures Cookie’s attention.
It was announced last week that Taye Diggs was joining the growing list of celebrity guest stars. He’ll play Angelo Dubois, a well-known city councilman with a degree from Harvard and a wealthy family background. Instead of making millions working in the private sector, Angelo decided to lend his talents to local politics and community organizing. According to TV Line, the character is said to resemble President Barack Obama.
Other guest stars for Season 3 include Birdman, French Montana and singer Sierra McClain. Birdman will play himself on the show, and Montana will play a music mogul named Vaughn who has ties to Lucious. Montana’s character may or may not also be a new love interest for Cookie. Last month, “Growing Up Hip Hop” star Romeo Miller teased that fans may see him on the show when it returns in the fall. The rapper and actor posted an Instagram picture of him reading a script writing in the caption that “Empire” creator Lee Daniels asked him to read some lines for the show.
“Empire” Season 3 premieres Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.