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Empire - Grace Gealey talks about Anika, her career and more



Boo Boo Kitty, aka Anika, hasn't been too prominent thus far in Empire, but that will soon change. That's one of the things that Grace Gealey, who plays Anika, told SpoilerTV in an interview with her.

"One of the main gifts in acting, I've found, is using your individuality to bring something different, special and unique to a role. Growing up, it was a way of embracing who I was; channeling the core of what I had to offer as a person into the experiences of a character. It allowed me to be full and I decided that I needed to be involved in/around/pursue that for the rest of my life." Empire is Gealey's first on-screen role, but she has a theatre background that includes a B.A. in Theatre Arts. "They both have their challenges," she says of the difference between acting on-screen and on-stage. "It's just different with each medium. Even though my background is in theatre, I was never limited to the way in which I wanted to share my art."

Another talent that may come in handy on Empire is the ability to sing. "I do sing," she says, "but because of my role, you won't be seeing me sing any time soon." That's unfortunate.

Gealey describes working with Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard as "phenomenal. I'm being reminded daily to keep taking risks and to keep doing whatever it takes to fight for the truth of your character." She also teased more scenes between Anika and Cookie, which should certainly make for entertaining viewing.

She labels Anika as "protective," noting that "people tend to forget that she doesn't have the knowledge of history that everyone else does. She knows nothing about Cookie's sacrifice and the depth of love and relationship she had with Lucious. All she knows is that Cookie is out of prison sooner than expected, she is the mother of his three sons and now she's here trying to move (Anika) aside. Anika has been with Lucious for the last 5 years and though she may not be aware of the sacrifices Cookie has made, she is more than aware of her own."

Lucious' discrimination against Jamal in recent episodes has made me slightly uncomfortable, though I do commend the show for tackling such an area. "Unfortunately, it's not uncommon," Gealey calls it. "Lucious is lacking the compassion and understanding like many people do in today's society." Hear, hear.

Gealey was rather hush-hush about any potential spoilers, including "you'll have to keep watching" to find out if Anika has any secrets. However, in addition to promising more of her character, she teased "some amazing guests that everyone will recognize, huge reveals and lots of jaw-dropping, cliff-hanging moments." Additionally, the early season 2 renewal "caught everyone off guard," which I think many fans would echo.

I'd like to again thank Grace for taking the time to answer these questions. Empire airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm on FOX. If you want to read a preview for the next episode, click here. Also, if you want to help support SpoilerTV, you can nominate us for a Shorty Award using the link below.

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About the Author - Bradley Adams
16 year old based in England, currently Senior Staff at SpoilerTV. Most of his posts are news/spoiler based, though he is currently the reviewer of Person of Interest, as well as being in charge of the yearly 'Favourite Episode Competition'. A big TV fan, his range of shows are almost exclusively dramas, with some of his all-time favourite shows including 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of his current favourites include Person of Interest, Arrow and The Walking Dead. He also runs an Arrow blog, ArrowFansUK, and aside from TV, is a keen cricketer. Get in touch with him via the links below or via email bradley@spoilertv.com
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