It's only January and actor Trai Byers is already having quite a year. He stars in the Oscar-nominated Selma, which is currently out in theaters and being heralded by critics and audiences alike. The 31-year-old actor is also dominating TV in Fox's new hit drama Empire, which was already renewed for a second season, even though Wednesday's new episode is only the series' third. Created by director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Danny Strong, Byers plays Andre Lyon on Empire, the eldest son of entertainment mogul Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard). Andre is ambitious, Ivy League-educated, and married to equally motivated college sweetheart Rhonda. Despite his character's married status on the show, it doesn't seem like Byers has a special someone in real life.
In an interview with CocoaFab’s Cherise Nicole, Byers said he was open to being a heartthrob on the show. "I'm willing to be someone's man," he said. The Yale School of Drama grad has photos on his Instagram account with Selma director Ava DuVernay, Niecey Nash, Dear White People's Tessa Thompson, Vivica Fox, and other celebs, but no mention of a main squeeze. In case Byers is indeed on the market and not just in a relationship he's keeping private, here are some things fans should be aware of as we add him to our crush list.
In many of Byers' Empire interviews, he mentions that he's a devout Christian. He told CocoaFab the first thing he did when he got the part on the show was thank God. "I'm a big Christian, so I praised the Lord," Byers said.
So naturally the actor was beside himself when legendary gospel and soul singer Gladys Knight guest starred on an upcoming episode of the show. "It was amazing," he told Access Hollywood. "Her voice is supreme, pure — wow."
He Likes Kids
Byers has lots of nephews and nieces and seems to love spending time with them as Uncle Trai during his free moments. "I love this job!" he wrote of being an uncle on Instagram. The kids aren't the only family he's close to. The Kansas City native also spends time with his sister — in fact, they even casually hung out with Will Smith one day.
He Can Sing Too
On Empire, the other two Lyon sons Jamal (played by Jussie Smollett) and Hakeem (played by Bryshere Gray, aka Yazz the Greatest) are performers and songwriters. Byers' Andre, however, sticks to business and white collar manipulations. But don't let that fool you — Byers can sing, too, according to this photo the actor tweeted.
Will we ever hear Andre belt one out on the show? I guess we'll have to keep watching.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX