‘Empire’ Star Bryshere Gray Talks Taraji Broom-Beating, Kissing Naomi Campbell

Bryshere “Yazz” Gray is killin’ it as Lucious Lyon’s youngest son, Hakeem, on “Empire.”

While the actor/rapper says his experience with the “Empire” cast has been wonderful, shooting his inaugural scene was rough – thanks to his on-screen mom, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson).

“My first scene was getting beat by a broom – it was intense. That was my first time meeting Taraji,” Bryshere told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday.

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And Taraji wasn’t messing around when she attacked Bryshere with that broom, either!

“It was hard. I went home and I had a little bruise on my head, but I just kept moving,” he laughed. “I just kept going!”

As for the other “mom” figure in Hakeem’s life, Bryshere said that when he read about his character’s romance with “an older woman” in the script, he had no idea the role would be filled by Naomi Campbell.

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“No, [I didn’t know] – if I did I would’ve been going crazy!” the 21-year-old said. “When I found out, I was laying on a pool table, ready for my scene, and I see a beautiful, iconic supermodel get [on] top of me, and from there, you know… that was the first time we met.”

The stunning supermodel is 44, which happens to be the same age as Bryshere’s real mom – and yes, that’s a little awkward for the star.

“Yeah, my mom – she’s a little disturbed [by the romance]… my mom is 44,” he said. “But it’s acting. It’s challenging. But it’s not challenging with no supermodel, you know? That’s just easy!”

And Bryshere said Hakeem’s feelings for Naomi’s Camilla are legit.

“Hakeem is deeply in love with Camilla. He gets some kind of security and confirmation from her,” he said. “So that’s why he’s so into her.”


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