West Bloomfield actor lands role on 'Empire'

- A local actor will have a role on "Empire" one week from tonight.

He may not look familiar yet - but just wait - 23-year-old Phil Rice is getting ready for his debut on the hit FOX show Empire.

"I'm so excited yes, I've seen the footage and it's amazing," Rice said. "Everybody is funny. Everybody is like, you can tell they got cast for that reason. That's what makes this show so gripping and believable, that's my favorite show."

Rice who always dreamed of being an actor grew up in West Bloomfield. He attended University of Michigan where he studied acting and it didn't take long for the offers to roll in.

He's also had a role in the NBC show "Chicago PD."

"After I graduated I signed with an agency in Chicago and I was auditioning for Chicago PD and Empire," he said. "I was cast in pd within a year of graduation. After that I auditioned for Empire got it a month later."

He shot the scenes last fall and will be introduced in a scene next week with Hakeem, the youngest Lyon.

"There is a crazy scene in the show that I'm going to be the center of, and everybody is on 10," he said.

"I'm a sweet person in real life. But when you get a role like that really have to play it 110 percent, so I do get a little violent."

Work days are intense and long - sometimes up to 19 hours on set. But Rice wouldn't trade it for a minute, especially rubbing elbows with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard - who play the passionate Cookie and Lucious Lyon.

"Cookie is a ball of energy, Lucious is cool, just swagging around, saying what up to everybody," Rice said. "They gave me some excellent advice."

FOX 2: "Anything you can share?"

"Just really from their advice and from everything I've heard, and my whole path, I've learned never give up," he said. "Dreams come true if I can do it, anyone can do it."

Rice plans to act as much as he can in commercials TV and films - but someday he hopes to run his own production company.

In the meantime, he's just focusing on his role on Empire. He could be back, but it's going to be up to the viewers.

"They said my role is a potential reoccurring role," Rice said. "So if everybody can tweet @EmpireFOX, and say 'Go Phil Rice' or 'Bring him back' - they can't help it."

Rice is also an entrepreneur with his own fashion and entertainment label called "Dude Lifestyle."
 


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