A month after the announcement that Taye Diggs signed on for what Fox called a major recurring role on next season of its hit series “Empire,” Phylicia Rashad has also booked a role on the soap opera, playing Diggs’ mother.
As previously reported, Diggs will play a character named Angelo Dubois, who is a city councilman from a respected and affluent New York family. Drawing comparisons to President Barack Obama’s earlier years, Mr. Dubois has a Harvard law degree, as well as a drive to do good in the world, and focuses his energy on community organizing, and local politics.
Rashad, as Digg’s mother, has signed up to play the wealthy Diana Dubois, matriarch of one of New York’s oldest and most prominent Africa American families. As the mother of ambitious city councilman Angelo Dubois (Diggs), she has her sights set on higher office for her only son, and she’ll stop at nothing to groom him. Diana’s interactions with Cookie, Lucious and the rest of the Lyon clan will lay bare the stark class divides that can exist, even within the black community.
By the way, the son, Angelo Dubois (Diggs), will be a new love interest for Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), meaning expect some (old money) Diana Dubois/(new money) Cookie Lyon drama as the mother likely may not be too pleased with her conservative, traditionalist, bourgeois son hooking up with the uncompromising, boisterous, “total badass” (as Henson has called her) that is Cookie, getting involved with the Lyon family. But watching the veteran Rashad (who can practically see into your soul with just a stare) and Henson potentially go head-to-head, should be fun for fans of the series.
As has been the case in past seasons of “Empire,” the upcoming season 3 will feature several newcomers. Joining Diggs and Rashad are Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, playing a rapper named Gram, a rival to Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray); French Montana as music mogul Vaughn, a member of Lucious Lyon’s (Terrence Howard) inner circle; and Mariah Carey as a singer named Kitty who joins Jamal (Jussie Smollett) in the recording studio.
Season 3 of “Empire” premieres on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. on Fox.