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In the FOXlight: 'Empire' Actor Andre Royo Says the Show Hits on a Winning Combination

Andre Royo of "Empire" tells Michael Tammero how he got the role of Thirsty, and why he thinks the show resonates so much with viewers.

 

Andre Royo has always been a fan favorite on shows like "The Wire" and "Hand of God," so when he stepped in to play a less-than-ethical lawyer on "Empire," you just knew he was going to be good. As it turns out, the show's producers felt the same way.

"[Co-creator] Danny Strong called me up and said, 'We'd love for you to be a part of the show, the second season,'" says Royo in an interview with FNC correspondent Michael Tammero. "I asked him where can I go to audition, and he said, 'No no no, it's an offer. We know you're good.'

"For any artist, that's a big moment," adds Royo.

What's more, Royo's character of Thurston "Thirsty" Johnson is also shaping up to be a major player on "Empire" thanks to his background as criminal lawyer and a criminal.

"That's a combination," Royo laughs. "[Thirsty] can do it in the courtroom, or [he] can do it in the courtyard. And, you know … I'll take care of business."

And just like his character, Royo thinks the show's subject matter and themes have hit on another great combination.

"I think it's just a celebration of the culture and the landscape of what we see going on in real life," he says. "Hip-hop is big, fashion is big, black people are big. You put that combination together, and I think that people are just happy that we can see that type of show on-air. Because at one point, we never thought that kind of show could work."

For more from Royo, including the reason he thinks his character has yet to meet (and eventually spar with) Cookie Lyon, watch the rest of his interview above.