11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Naomi Campbell Joins Lee Daniels' Fox Hip-Hop Drama 'Empire' (Exclusive)
Lee Daniels is looking to longtime friend Naomi Campbell to spice things up on Fox's Empire.
The actress, model and producer has boarded the network's hip-hop drama in a major recurring role, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The family drama is set in the world of a hip-hop empire and stars Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), the head of a record label at the center of the series.
Photos: Faces of Fall 2014
Campbell will portray Camilla, an alluring woman involved in a steamy affair with the much-younger Hakeem (newcomer Bryshere Gray), the potential heir to Lucious' throne. Tasha exercises considerable influence over Hakeem.
"Naomi is a beautiful actress. Underrated in my mind," said co-creator/executive producer Daniels (The Butler, Precious). "She will be wonderful as Camilla. I am truly thrilled to have one of my close friends join us."
Added Campbell: "It's an honor to follow in the footsteps of actresses like Halle Berry, Oprah, Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique, and work with Lee Daniels. I'm looking forward to joining Lee and this amazing cast on set."
From exec producers Danny Strong and Daniels, the Precious and Butler alum will make his TV directing debut with the project. From 20th and Imagine, Brian Grazer will exec produce alongside Daniels, Strong, Francie Calfo and The L Word's Ilene Chaiken, who is set as showrunner. Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers,Malik Yoa co-star in the drama. Empire, which will debut in early 2015 on Fox, will feature original and current music, with Timbaland on board as a songwriter/music producer. Sidibe recurs. (Macy Gray was previously attached to recur but the role was reconceived and she will not be featured on Empire.)
For Campbell, the role marks her latest TV gig and brings her back into the Fox fold where she had a role on Fox's cop drama New York Undercover. Her credits include Girl 6, Fastlane and The Cosby Show. More recently, she exec produced Oxygen's The Face.
Campbell is repped by Untitled, Resolution and Grubman.