Flashback Podtalk, Photo: Jussie Smollett on The Red Carpet in 2017

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CHICAGO – Before everything else happened, Jussie Smollett was an actor from the TV series “Empire” and portrayed Langston Hughes in the film “Marshall” … featuring Chadwick Boseman of “Black Panther” as young Thurgood Marshall. Smollett walked the Red Carpet for the film in 2017, at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.

In this extraordinary Flashback interview, Jussie talks about “truth,” being a temporary child actor and connecting to Langston Hughes (the African American poet who wrote verse that became the title for the play/film “A Raisin in the Sun,” among other poems). Smollett was born in Santa Rosa, California, and began his career as a child actor, appearing in “The Mighty Ducks” (1992) and Rob Reiner’s notorious “North” (1994), and was in a TV series with his five siblings called “On Our Own” (1994-95).

Jussie Smollett in 2017, on the Red Carpet at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

He stopped acting to focus on music, but he was able to combine acting and his new focus in the FOX-TV series “Empire” (2015-present) as Jamal Lyon, a gay musician who struggles to gain his father’s approval. Smollett came out himself in 2015 through an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. The character that he portrays on “Empire” reflects issues that series creator Lee Daniels wanted to express as part of the show’s narrative. The Exclusive Photo of Jussie Smollett is by Joe Arce.

In the following Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, recorded on two separate Red Carpets for the film “Marshall” and “Black Perspectives Night” at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival (2017), Jussie Smollett expresses himself.

From the Langston Hughes poem, “Harlem” … What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun? / Or fester like a sore — And then run?

“Marshall” is available on Blu-Ray/DVD and digital download. See providers for details. “Empire” is currently on FOX-TV Network. See channel providers for day and times.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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