Trai Byers reportedly wants out of Empire in order to pursue “better” roles.
Byers, who plays Andre Lyon on the hit show, reportedly was pleased when he was first cast in 2014, but he is now looking to take his career in a different direction.
“Trai wants out,” said an insider, according to PageSix. “He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian’ . . . The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”
“At first, being on ‘Empire’ was major for him. But he feels his character is not as important this season, and he hates not being the star,” a source claimed. “He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji and Terrence. He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”
Another insider added, “Trai threw a temper tantrum during filming in the past few weeks, saying, ‘I don’t get to do enough, I might leave.’ But producers called his bluff and said, ‘Fine, if you’re not happy, we don’t need you.’ He thinks he is a brilliant guy who deserves a better role, but he’s hardly one of the most popular or dynamic actors on the show.” The source then added, “He also fired all his reps for not getting him big movie roles.”
However, an Empire source assured PageSix that the rumors of Byers leaving the show were just that: rumors. “It’s the last week of filming the season, and he’s not quitting, nor is he being fired, for now,” the source said.