updated - December 10, 2018 Monday EST
Among all the "Empire" TV series cast, you can tag Bryshere Gray as a novice.
The hit Fox musical drama is his very first acting gig. In the show, his character Hakeem, son of influential recording company owner Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji Henson), is someone that would easily get hate.
He is a spoiled brat who works his way up with the help of his father. However, the real life Hakeem is very much different. While Hakeem can easily get what he wants, Bryshere Gray underwent major hardships to get to where he is now.
Before joining the "Empire" TV series cast, Gray did an assortment of job. It even got to some point that he almost became homeless.
"I'm from West Philadelphia. Before I got the 'Empire' gig, I was broke and I was about to get evicted and I got this job and I got this audition with Terrence and Taraji at the same time and it changed my life," Gray said in an interview wit E! Online.
In separate interview with Vibe, the young "Empire" TV series cast also shared that he used to work in Pizza Hut that he got fired because of his passion for hip-hop.
"Well, I started rapping when I was 16. I was working at Pizza Hut. (Laughs) I was just tired. I was like 'Is this life?' I just graduated and I started rhyming and really fell in love with it. When I did my first performance, I was like 'This is what I really want to do.' People loved what I did on stage. I used my first Pizza Hut check to pay for my music video and I promoted it everywhere on Facebook at crazy hours. (Laughs) I was writing raps at my job and I got fired. After I got fired, I just really committed to it," he explained.
Although new in acting, rapping is something he has been doing. In fact, Gray has appeared in many gigs in Philadelphia and he was lucky enough to have a manager who is close to Will Smith, also a rapper.
"I was doing a lot of shows all over my city and performing out on the street. I just wanted people to hear me. I was just so eager and ambitious," Gray told Vibe.
"If I wrote a song that night, I was going to perform it to the world and that's what I did. So I met my manager, Charlie Mack, who is like Will Smith's best friend, and he gave me the audition. I did a video audition for Lee Daniels and he loved it and sent me to L.A. I auditioned [there] with Taraji and Terrence, cause they were doing their auditions for Lee, too. We got to do it together," he added.
Also in the "Empire" TV series cast are Trai Byers as Andre Lyon, Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon, and Kaitlin Doubleday as Rhonda Lyon.
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