Empire’s freshman season was a huge hit last year. Ratings were absolutely crazy. So how do you up the ante for Season 2? You make things Ludacris of course. Sorry, was that too obvious? Rapper and actor Ludacris (real name Christopher Bridges) has joined the cast of Empire for a recurring role, and we don't even have to wait until the season drops to see what he looks like.
The image above was posted to his Instagram account, and shows Ludacris in a prison guard uniform posing with Empire lead Terrence Howard in an orange prison jumpsuit, which makes sense since Howard’s character, hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyon, was arrested at the end of Empire’s first season. We also learn Ludacris’s character's name, as the nameplate bears the name McKnight.
Officer McKnight will likely be an antagonist for Howard’s character because that’s what usually happens in prison. How long Ludacris will be appearing the show will depend on how long Lyon remains locked up so time will tell. Access Hollywood says that Ludacris' character is a veteran who believes that celebrities should not be treated any differently than other inmates. For a series that is so much about image, we can expect that such an attitude will not work for Lucious Lyon.
The series is a reuniting of Howard and Ludacris, who both appeared together in 2005’s Hustle & Flow, where Howard played an aspiring rapper trying to get the attention of Ludacris. Bringing these two together again is probably why Ludacris says things could “get interesting.” Their previous work together was a very popular film which will likely get a lot of people even more excited for Season 2 than they already were.
Ludacris is only one of the big names that are being added to Empire next season. We also know that Oprah Winfrey and Common will be making appearances. In addition, Lenny Kravitz, and Chris Rock will have roles. Kravitz was a huge get as he was on Lee Daniels’ dream cast list. Since they got that one, it's possible they're still working on the other name, Denzel Washington.
Season 1 of Empire was the rare series that actually saw ratings grow from week to week. In this era of online binge-watching, where viewers will wait to watch the show on their DVR or catch it via a streaming service, such a thing is nearly unheard of. Empire was so popular that fans actually made a point to sit down and watch it every week when it aired. Crazy, right?
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