During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Empire co-star Terrence Howard opened up about the highs and lows of his life and career, while also revealing how one violent incident involving his father forever changed him.
When Howard was 2-years-old, his father stabbed a man in front of him at a department store in Cleveland, OH, as the family waited in line to see Santa Claus.
“I was standing next to my father, watching,” Howard recalled to Rolling Stone. “Then stuff happened so quickly—blood was on the coats, on our jackets—and then my dad’s on a table and then my dad is gone to prison.”
The man died after being stabbed with a nail file, and Tyrone spent 11 months in prison for manslaughter, before being let out for good behavior.
Howard fondly recalls how his father prepared him for the trials being a man.
“You see that curly motherf—er right there? That little redheaded motherf—er right there? You love him, because the only person that’s gonna be there no matter what happens in your life is that little motherf—er,” Tryone reportedly said to Terrence.
“My daddy taught me, ‘Never take the vertebrae out of your back or the back out of your throat. I ain’t raisin’ sheep. I raised men. Stay a man.’ But being a man comes with a curse because it’s not a society made for men to flourish anymore,” Howard said.
The actor added, “Everything is androgynous, you know? The more successful men now are the effeminate.”
At 46, Howard has had a successful career in film and TV, but has also had two marriages end with allegations of physical abuse, and has been accused of striking numerous other women.
Despite some serious allegations against him, the actor remains unapologetic when it comes to being the man Tyrone taught him to be, and concludes of his critics, “The people that judge you don’t matter. They’re not real. Everything is just frequencies,” Howard said.
Read Terrence Howard’s full RS interview here.