Gabourey Sidibe talks 'Empire' love interest and guest star Kelly Rowland

By Alex Cramer

Fox's Empire has been the breakout hit since last year, and one of the keys to the show’s success has been the string of appearances by major stars such as Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell and Mary J. Blige. In season two, we can expect plenty more surprises starting with Marisa Tomei in the season premiere as investor Mimi Whiteman.

Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the ambitious Becky on the show, does have a favorite in terms of those future guest stars. “We haven’t seen it yet, but I really like Kelly Rowland on the show this season,” she told HELLO! at the preview party for the new social entertainment platform Go90 in L.A.. “I really like her role, and I think it’s an interesting twist into, gosh I don’t want to say what she is yet, but it’s amazing.” (In a preview for next week’s episode, Kelly is shown as young Lucious’ mentally ill mother).

Gabourey was among the guests at the Go90 launch Photo: Getty Images

Of course, the biggest cameo of the season will be by the only diva who could give Tarji P. Henson’s Cookie a run for her money, Mariah Carey. Jussie Smollett previously confirmed to HELLO! that she will be on the show, appearing in a role with his character Jamal. Unfortunately, Gabourey hasn’t worked with her Precious co-star yet in this season.

Gabourey has, however, seen her own character make a rapid ascent in Lucious Lyon’s music empire. She began as his personal assistant but has since moved up to the executive ranks. “Now she’s like the head of A&R so now she works with artists. I guess at some point she gets a love interest. Whatever. No biggie,” the 32-year-old continued during the party that also featured a special Kanye West performance. “You get to see what she’s like outside of the office. You get to see her as a more well-rounded character.”

16 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of Empire's new season Photo: Getty Images

So who’s the lucky guy that will play her love interest? “They already cast him. I’ve already been shooting with him,” she said. “The role of J-Papa who is Becky’s boo is Mo McCrae , who is super talented and a super nice guy.”

Over 16 million people tuned in to watch the Empire season two premiere on Wednesday night, and if the opening episode, which also featured an appearance by Chris Rock, is any indication, it’s going to be a wild season.

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