Gabourey Sidibe has been a part of the Empire family since Season 1, but this week it was her first time in the director’s chair. The actress has directed before, but she had never been in charge on the Fox series.
Though it was an emotional episode for a number of the characters, it was a challenging episode for Sidibe to direct.
“I thought they were going to give me some, like, holdover episode where not a lot of things happen. It would be kind of lame, but instead they gave me this gigantic episode where everybody gets laid and Lucious kills someone. I was like, ‘Wow, this is a lot to do, guys. You must really believe I can pull it off,’” she told Entertainment Weekly.
Not only did Kai (Toby Onwumere) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) reunite, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) thought she caught Lucious (Terrence Howard) cheating on her, and Lucious found out about Andre’s (Trai Byers) cancer diagnosis. Not only that, but Sidibe had to put together those elaborate musical numbers.
“I know I can direct a story, but I didn’t know if I could direct a musical story yet. I went back through all the other performances and thought about what I haven’t seen and what really I want to see,” she shared.
As for Jamal’s big moment on stage this week, Sidibe was excited to see a musical number so filled with emotion.
“We’ve never had him be this emotional, break down to the point where he can’t go on. He really is heartbroken. To have Wynter [Joss Stone] come out and take over the song, it’s such a beautiful element of friendship and heartbreak and what it means to be this raw and emotional in front of an audience,” she shared.
Of course, not to be forgotten, is Sidibe’s character, Becky. The actress feels as though Becky is happier when she’s not working for the Lyon family, as they haven’t done that much for her or her career.
“I think Becky was happier not working for the Lyons.… They’ve actually done very little for her. At the end of the season, she gets very tired of it. She’s realizing that she’s saved the day so much but with very little reward, so I think she’s going to start thinking what her next step is,” she shared.