Terrence Howard is a compelling figure. His body of work, including his role as Lucious Lyon on Fox’s hit show Empire, is just as extensive as the details of his perplexing life. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the actor opened up about how he’s perceived in the industry.
Suddenly, it all makes sense why he’s been playing the same character all these years – he’s just being himself – and he is leaving it up to us as to how we understand him. Take a look at the most head-scratching and eye-widening moments below.
1. He says we’ve all got tons of faces.
“We’ve got all these different faces that want to come out — there’s at least four just in this moment, with a possible expansion to 432 — but which one do you let out?
2. He made up something called “Terryology” and believes that one times one is two.
“He had a theory. It might seem crazy, it may even be crazy, but a long time ago he’d gotten hold of this notion that one times one doesn’t equal one, but two. He began writing down his logic, in a language of his own devising that he calls Terryology. He wrote forward and backward, with both his right and left hands, sometimes using symbols he made up that look foreign, if not alien, to keep his ideas secret until they could be patented.”
“This is the last century that our children will ever have been taught that one times one is one,” he says. “They won’t have to grow up in ignorance. Twenty years from now, they’ll know that one times one equals two. We’re about to show a new truth. The true universal math. And the proof is in these pieces. I have created the pieces that make up the motion of the universe. We work on them about 17 hours a day. She cuts and puts on the crystals. I do the main work of soldering them together. They tell the truth from within.”
(His patent is U.S. patent 20150079872 A1, in case you were wondering.)
3. The way we met his ex-wife, Miranda, was straight out of a movie.
She says she first met Howard in the middle of the day at an L.A. restaurant where she was having lunch with an old boss. He marched up to the table and said to the man, “I don’t know if she’s your wife or girlfriend, but she’s absolutely stunning.” She said, “That’s very bold of you.” He said, “Well, only a tiger can approach a tiger.” Three weeks later, they were married.
4. But she also says he didn’t quite show enough affection to keep their marriage going.
I mean, he’s not perfect. Doesn’t do the dishes. Doesn’t cook. Doesn’t lift a finger. I probably leave him 30 times a month.” She laughs and goes on, “He’s so selfish. But, you know, he didn’t have much of a childhood. It was difficult for him being picked on and bullied all the time. We don’t have a normal life. In our two years together, I’ve only gone to restaurants with him two or three times. We’ve never been to the supermarket together. We’ve never been to the movies. I’ve never gotten a gift from him. Never, never.
5. People vouch for him because they believe in his talent despite all of the allegations of domestic abuse and rumors of being difficult on set.
“They came to me, and I said, ‘The only person I’ll do it with is Terrence,’ ” says Henson. “Cookie and Lucious sometimes hate and love each other in the same scene. There’s an unspoken connection that you can’t fake. My boy Terrence and I have that. So I said to Lee, ‘If you can make it happen with Terrence, call me back.’ ”
6. He plays Lucious Lyon on Empire well because his own personality is so close to the character.
“Everything I do with Lucious is still me,” Howard says. “I just change the vibration. Because Lucious has a very base understanding of life — kill or be killed — I keep him down at a very low frequency.”
7. At 3 years old, Howard watched his father commit a murder.
“I was standing next to my father, watching,” Howard says. “Then stuff happened so quickly — blood was on the coats, on our jackets — and then my dad’s on a table and then my dad is gone to prison.”
8. He says he helped get Robert Downey Jr. his starring role in Iron Man, but when Howard had problems with the producers of the sequel, he reached out to Downey with no avail.
“Robert was so thankful and dadadadada,” says Howard. Come time to make Iron Man 2, however, the producers went to Howard’s agent, told him they were cutting Howard’s part down and wanted a salary reduction. As Howard recalls it, his agent said “fuck you” and slammed down the phone. By the next day, Don Cheadle had been hired as his replacement.
“And so,” he says, “I called Robby and was like, ‘Look, man . . .’ Leaving messages with his assistants, called him at least 17 times that day and 21 the next and finally left a message saying, ‘Look, man, I need the help that I gave you.’ Never heard from him.
The entire interview is worth a read. Check it out here.
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