“Empire” cutie Trai Byers stopped by “Meredith Vieira” where he reveals he almost quit acting to pursue becoming a pastor! He also dished on Denzel Washington possibly guest-starring on the hit FOX series. Find out what he said inside….
On today’s episode of “The Meredith Vieira Show,” Trai Byers, who stars as eldest brother Andre Lyon on the hit FOX series “Empire,” chops it up about what he contemplated about doing with his life before landing a gig on “Empire” and starring in the civil rights film SELMA.
Trai, who admitted he’s very passionate about his religious beliefs, revealed he thought about quitting his career in acting after not working at all in 2013. And he wanted to become a pastor. He spilled,
Trai: In 2013 I did not work at all just contemplating what I needed to do if I was walking in my destiny or not. Is this what Trai wants to do? I am a big Christian so I always talk about that or is what God wants me to do. I really contemplated changing going into something else. I am very passionate about God and religion and I thought maybe I am supposed to be a Pastor. I don’t know. I am open to being used in any way that was aligned for me destiny wise and Empire came and right after Empire, Selma came. Then to look later down the line to see Empire was premiering on Wednesday night the same week on Friday Selma was going wide, you couldn’t time it like that.
Meredith: Did you believe it was a message?
Trai: Yes, Trai stay where you are.
The sexy actor also weighs in about iconic actor Denzel Washington possibly appearing on “Empire” with a guest-starring role. A few weeks ago, director Lee Daniels posted a picture of himself and Denzel at dinner on Instagram saying he was working to persuade Denzel to make a cameo on the top-rated primetime television show.
Meredith: He recently posted a photo with Denzel Washington on Instagram saying, “Trying to talk this one into doing a guest star on Empire.” You’ve had a lot of stars on so far. Do you have any idea whether Denzel is thinking about it?
Trai: Wouldn’t that be great. I think it would be great. I love Denzel.
Meredith: He compares you to Denzel.
Trai: That’s high praise. The show is huge with a huge show comes a lot of rumors. I couldn’t say whether he was or was not, is or is not but that would be great. Hopefully he does.
Meredith: If he’s smart he’ll do it.
Trai: I think he’s pretty smart.
Later, Trai reveals how the cast found out that they were getting renewed for a second season. Unexpectedly, the main cast was on a plane to L.A. and once they landed, a random guy sitting on the plane checked his phone and saw the show had been picked up for a new season….and proceeded to yell out the news!
Trai:The core cast were on our way to the TCA’s in Los Angeles, all on a plane together, the Television Critics Association. So we are landing in LA and this man sitting next to me, he has a baseball cap on, regular guy, unassuming guy. As soon as we land they tell us we can turn our phones on. He turns his on and says, ‘Hey, you know you were just picked up for a second season right?’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I’m sitting in the middle, Yazz is in the front. Taraji and Jussie are across from me and Terence is in the back. I’m like, ‘We just got picked up for a second season y’all’ and the front of the plane just erupts. I’m sure we scared the mess out of the people in the back.
Peep the clips below:
On almost quitting acting to become a pastor:
On Denzel Washington joining “Empire”:
On how the cast found out about getting renewed for a new season:
You can catch Trai on “Meredith Vieira” today. Check your local listings for the time.
Don’t forget! A new episode of “Empire” comes on tonight 9/8c on FOX.
Photos: Meredith Vieria