'Empire' Stars Have Been In Plenty Of Other Projects, Here's How To Get Your Fix During The Show's Off-Season

It's so sad that Empire 's first season has already come to an end. I really got into the show and its great characters. There were only 12 episodes in Season 1, so I could binge watch them all over again pretty rapidly, but I'd still want my Empire fix when I was done. I could check out the cast's Instagram pages or even watch some behind-the-scenes clips on the show's website, but that can also be accomplished rather quickly. So this got me thinking. While I might not be able to see anything new with Cookie, Lucious, or any of the Lyon children for a while, I could still watch some of the Empire cast's other projects. Sure, it wouldn't be the same characters, but they are all great actors and watching them in other roles could help tide me over until Season 2 of Empire begins.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has gone through this thought process, or at least I hope I'm not the only fan with this extreme level of interest. So I figured I would do my fellow fans a favor and share some of my picks for movies you can watch to get your Empire fix. And I'll do you one better. I'll tell you where you can watch it all to make it even more convenient for you.

Hustle & Flow

We all knew I was going to include this one, so I might as well just get into it right away. This is a great pick because it includes both Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. Hustle & Flow has a great soundtrack and the acting is superb. Plus, who doesn't want to watch a movie about a pimp going through a mid-life crisis on the quest to become a rapper? Thankfully, you can catch this modern day classic on Netflix. There are plenty of people who view Empire as a sequel to Hustle & Flow, so this pretty much obligates you to watch the movie.

Person of Interest

If you're in the mood to overdose on some Taraji P. Henson, you should check out the show Person of Interest. Henson plays Joss Carter, a tough detective and single mom, in this thrilling crime drama. There are four seasons total. Seasons 1 through 3 are available on Netflix. Once you get through with those, you can check out Season 4 on Amazon Instant Video. Henson appears in 55 episodes, so that should be a good amount to hold you over during your summer absence from Empire.


Gabourey Sidibe does not get nearly enough screen time on Empire. Which is a shame since she is so precious playing Becky — pun intended. Thankfully Sidibe has been upgraded to series regular status, but if you want to see more of Sidibe now, you should check out the role that gave her a big break. You can watch Precious on Netflix. It's an outstanding film that really showcases Sidibe's acting abilities and makes me hope that she is utilized more in Empire's next season.


Most of the younger members of the Empire cast have not been in many projects aside from the show, but Trai Byers, who plays Andre Lyon, had a guest role in the series 90210 during its fifth season. Sadly, he was not a series regular, but he did have a pretty juicy story line for six episodes if you want to check it out. I refuse to give you spoilers, but things definitely went in an unexpected direction. Plus, his role as Alec Martin has some similarities to the business and power hungry nature of the Andre Lyon character. You can see for yourself by watching 90210 on Netflix.

American Horror Story

Gabourey Sidibe can really bring it playing any character. She absolutely slayed playing Queenie in American Horror Story . She appeared in 12 of 13 episodes during the show's third season, American Horror Story: Coven. The great thing about American Horror Story is that each season restarts with new plots and characters, so if you want to have a Sidibe-centered binge-watching session, you won't feel at all left out if you tune into Season 3 of the show. Plus, if you just want an extra dose of the actress, she also acts in three episodes during the fourth season. If you want to watch American Horror Story, you can on Amazon Instant Video or can catch the first three seasons on Netflix.

The Big C

Another place you can see a lot of Gabourey Sidibe is in the television show The Big C . She played Andrea Jackson as a series regular in Seasons 3 and 4 in addition to playing a recurring role in previous seasons. The Big C was a series about a high school teacher trying to overcome a cancer diagnosis with a little bit of humor. Sidibe's character is a student in her class and once again she completely owns the role. There are plenty of places for you to watch The Big C. You can check it out on Amazon Instant Video or you can watch it On Demand online or on television if you are an Xfinity customer. And once again, you can turn to old faithful Netflix if you want to catch Sidibe in The Big C.

A lot of Empire's stars actually got their big break on the show, so there isn't a ton of television shows or movies that feature other members of the cast, but these six can definitely fill your Empire void until the show returns.