After a few weeks of talking around and about Olivia (Raven-Symone) and also whether or not Jamal (Jussie Smollett) was actually the father of her adorable little girl, Empire finally ceded the answers for which so many — consisting of the cast themselves — to be waiting.

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The verdict is in — no DNA test compelled — and Jamal is not Lola’s (Leah Jeffries) father.

“I was the first one also to be like, ‘Jamal! acquire a DNA test!’ i think that there is a component of Jamal the is sort of life in this world of, ‘Could I carry out this?’ He and the household do bond with this beautiful tiny baby girl. Ns think there’s a part of Jamal that, deep under inside, he wants to believe that she is his. He’s gained such a huge heart,” Smollett told The Hollywood Reporter.


Unfortunately, Jamal’s love was damaged in the 10th episode of the season, “Sins of the Father,” as soon as Olivia returned to the Lyon’s Den to case her child, gruff, abusive friend in tow. Things obtained heated between the two men when Jamal realized Reg (Jerod Haynes) wasn’t simply hurting Olivia yet Lola, too, and Reg traction a total on that — just for Lucious (Terrence Howard) to step up and also claim Lola as his.

While it to be the very first truly compassionate relocate anyone has seen from Lucious — asking Reg to kill him and spare his son — it must be said that the wasn’t totally unselfish, as Lucious probably figured a death by gunshot would certainly at least be much faster than fatality by ALS. However regardless, the join left everyone with a cake taste in their mouths together they establish just exactly how much Lucious had manipulated and used Olivia over the years.

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THR talked through Raven-Symoneabout her arc as Olivia in season one, the bigger meaning behind her early on years together Jamal’s beard, and also if she is in talks to return for season two.

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When Olivia was first introduced over there were part questions about her timing of returning to the Lyons’ lives and also if she was simply there to get hers. Were you concerned around audience response?


I think with Empire the more drama the better! So i was hoping that human being would begin saying, “Oh my goodness, is this real? who is she?” ns think people need to talk about the characters, and also people need to talk around these issues.

The back story the Jamal and also Olivia’s marital relationship was initially in the pilot however cut because that time. Were you approached back then to play the role?

Oh, no. The was, like, the day before filming essential to start ! This was absolutely a last-minute thing that has turned into an amazing possibility for me and also my career. Ns was actually already in Chicago visiting.Jussie and Lee and Taraji and also Terrence and also I, we all recognize each other, and also the day before,Jussie popped into the room ns was in and also was like, “Girl!” and told me around the part. And also I to be like, “What!?” and it go from there. I did a hair and makeup test, and also the following morning ns was top top the stage.

You and Jussie have actually been friends for a long time, so what to be the procedure like of developing the history for this characters?

We never had actually a romantic relationship, but we definitely, living in method-acting worlds, acted exactly how we typically would. (Laughs.) it was very natural and easy. I’m happy the he was together excited to job-related with me as I to be excited to work with him. We had never really operated together. Us did a little music together prior to him being on the show, yet as my ideal friend, usually we act prefer that when we’re out in a club having actually fun. “Let’s execute a Grease rendition; let’s ~ pretend we’re a couple and have actually fun on the run floor!” He’s my bro.

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What sort of artist was Olivia back in the day that made Lucious think she was the perfect one come pair up through Jamal?

We haven’t talked around it yet. I’m kind of over the stage in my job . I offered to perform that a lot as soon as I to be coming up and also trying come make sure that my quote-unquote brand to be solidified, yet now i leave it come Lee and Danny strong and Ilene Chaiken. Ns trust where they want this personality to go. They recognize me as a person, and I’ll walk there. There space some restrictions , but I don’t think they’d press me come a allude where I’d feeling uncomfortable. I desire them to bring it on!

The story of a fake relationship to hide someone’s true sexuality is one that happens more than we probably know, particularly in Hollywood, but is not presented onscreen often. How did you feel around exploring something for this reason deep but little talked about?

I think that’s what Lee Daniels does best: glowing a light on stories and also situations that society sweeps under the rug. Civilization can live a long time in heterosexual relationship on the external when they’re actually homosexual ~ above the inside. They might come out later in their years since they were afraid or they had no one come look approximately to assist them, and I think having actually this present helps. That helps display the fluidity the sex. Nowadays I don’t really desire to be labeled one of two people way, but I want civilization to recognize what I’m talking about. Sex is fluid, and also Jamal and also Olivia did have sex once!


But it yes, really was Lucious that manipulated them right into a publicly marriage. Jamal to be young and also not all set to come out and trying to please his father. What to be Olivia’s motivation in going along with it?

Fame and fortune and being a component of a family like the Lyons!

Yet as soon as she returned, the wasn’t because that a payday. She very first left Lola through Jamal to store her safe, and also then even in “Sins that the Father,” points were much more complicated with her being managed by Reg.

Olivia came ago to save her daughter. She wouldn’t have come earlier if her boyfriend didn’t discover her. Friend know, i hear a lot of various stories of act the unthinkable to conserve their offspring, and I don’t have a child, so i can’t fully embrace it, yet I can certainly act as if I had actually one. And also that’s what i went through: “Let me think around how I would be in this situation.” and also it also helps through the writing and also the people around me; it just slipped off the tongue. She was such a well-rounded character that ns didn’t have to do much since it was appropriate there. This is what she was doing, and she to be doing it to conserve her daughter. And many people might not be able to get out of certain situations, but I was dealing with her prefer a strong person.

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And let’s simply put it out there: phone call the character Olivia needs to be a nod to The Cosby Show. Can we pretend it’s the same character, every grown up?

I think that’s a tiny bad! (Laughs.) but hey, perhaps the industry just really likes the name because that me, and also it’s jump-started mine career, therefore I’ll take it!

What has the discussion been because that Olivia to return in season two?

Lee has said there will be possibility for Olivia to popular music in and also out, and also for an ext of the story to it is in revealed and more great tension .

It certainly seems prefer Olivia and also Jamal may have some points to occupational through after learning who Lola’s father in reality is!

I expect they do! Otherwise we’d just be perpetuating what we don’t want people to do, i m sorry is maintaining their mouths shut about crazy stuff! ns think we definitely have to show why Olivia and Jamal have actually a connection anyway that would make Lucious want them come marry every other, and I would love to be able to perform with my finest friend . I don’t think it would be Empire if lock didn’t talk about it, however there is nothing set in concrete yet.

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Empire airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Top top Fox. What do you think of Olivia’s story? Sound off in the comment below, and also be sure to bookmark The Live feeding for lots of Empire pre-finale coverage, and also of course, the weekly postmortem.