The season finale of Fox’s record-shattering music biz drama Empire is fast approaching, and casual viewers and celebrities alike are wilding out over the exploits and machinations of the Lyon family. The main draw of the show for so many has proven to be the great characterization of the Lyon family and their amorphous dysfunctional nature. And the head of that family is Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a power hungry artist/entrepreneur who’s been diagnosed with ALS and is making a mad dash to secure his legacy before he goes under.
Let’s not mince words here: Lucious is a despicable person. He attempts to control and manipulate everyone around him for his own personal gain, he chastises and abuses his son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) for being gay, and he’s even gone as far as murder to cover his tracks. The interesting thing about this is that Howard is no stranger to playing shady, untrustworthy characters like this: he’s been typecast in films like Ray, Idlewild, and even in The Best Man series. Every once in a while, Howard manages to break the mold and play a character with a good heart who isn’t manipulative, and is sometimes is even manipulated by others. It doesn’t happen often, but here are eight instances where Terrence Howard has played characters with a heart and a conscience.
Louis Russ in Mr Holland’s Opus
Jim Ellis in Pride
Detective Sean Mercer in The Brave One
Richard Jeffries in August Rush
James “Rhodey” Rhodes in Iron Man
James in The Princess and the Frog
Col. A.J. Bullard in Red Tails
Franklin Birch in Prisoners
Dylan “CineMasai” Green is a movie geek, hip-hop aficionado, and pita chip enthusiast. Find him on Twitter.
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