×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Empire’: Chris Rock Was Secretly Playing a Cannibal

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the season two premiere of “Empire.”

Here’s something you probably didn’t realize about Chris Rock’s “Empire” character: the comedian was playing a cannibal.

Rock’s Frank Gathers, for whom Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious (Terrence Howard) worked in their drug business days, was originally intended to have an extra-creepy edge to him. In the scene where Rock interrogates Cookie’s cousin while cutting up unidentifiable meat, “Empire” makeup artist Karen Lynn Accattato explained to the Observer that creator Lee Daniels wanted to show Rock eating human flesh.

“Lee wanted him to be a cannibal, but I guess it was too much for Fox,” Accattato said. “During the filming for scenes with Chris, Lee Daniels had this inspiration. He wanted to take it to the next level. Because that’s what Lee does. On the makeup department, they told us, ‘We want him to be eating this guy’s flesh. Come up with some flesh.'”

She added, “We actually went to craft service, grabbed some steak and cut off the fat, and glued it on to the actor’s skin. When Lee Daniels says he wants an effect, you have to get that effect.”

Sadly, Frank’s darker tendencies are unlikely to ever see the light of day (despite Cookie referring to him as “Hannibal”), since the character came to a suitably vicious end in the season premiere, after Lucious bought off Frank’s men and had him killed — but not before took the opportunity to twist the knife and told Frank he planned to sign the gangster’s musically-inclined daughter to Empire and “slip her my bone.” Such a charmer.

“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

What did you think of the “Empire” season premiere? Did you catch a hint of Frank’s unusual appetite?

More TV

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content