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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 274 > Naomi & Jussie

Naomi & Jussie

THE WORLD’S MOST ICONIC SUPERMODEL IS BEST MATES WITH AMERICA’S MOST PROMINENT GAY ACTOR. OBVIOUSLY. SO, WHEN WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOOT EMPIRE AND ALIEN: COVENANT STAR JUSSIE SMOLLETT EXCLUSIVELY FOR OUR COVER, NAOMI CAMPBELL SIMPLY INSISTED ON SWINGING BY

WHEN NAOMI MET JUSSIE

Naomi Campbell & Jussie Smollett PHOTOGRAPHED EXCLUSIVELY IN NEW YORK FOR ATTITUDE BY Victoria Will

Jussie wears throughout: blazer by DSquared2, t-shirt by David Gandy for Autograph, jeans by BLK DNM Naomi Campbell & Jussie Smollett PHOTOGRAPHED EXCLUSIVELY IN NEW YORK FOR ATTITUDE BY Victoria Will
PHOTOGRAPHY: VICTORIA WILL

FASHION: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

Jussie wears blazer and trousers, both by DSquared2, t-shirt by David Gandy for Autograph, shoes by Jimmy Choo

EMPIRE BUILDER

JUSSIE SMOLLETT TELLS ATTITUDE ABOUT BEING PALS WITH NAOMI CAMPBELL, HIS LOVE FOR MADONNA, THE DISDAIN HE FEELS FOR DONALD TRUMP, AND BEING A GAY MAN PLAYING A MAJOR GAY ROLE

FASHION:: JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

PHOTOGRAPHY: VICTORIA WILL

During its epic first season, there were many signs that the TV smash Empire was a defining work of its era. Perhaps the most conclusive evidence arrived when the show’s soundtrack beat Madonna’s Rebel Heart to top spot in the US Billboard album chart. As the show’s LGBT+ emblem — a prominent gay actor playing its most compelling gay character — Jussie Smollett didn’t feel any personal responsibility for short-circuiting the Queen of Pop’s hopes.

“I never thought about the irony of that,” says Smollett as we meet in the lush New York EDITION hotel, ahead of his Attitude shoot with Naomi Campbell. “But if Madonna is going to be number two to anybody, I’m sure she’s OK being number two to a gay man.”

Currently Chicago-based while filming the third series of Empire, Jussie, 33, says: “I love her. What we have to admit is that Madonna — our generation’s Marlene Dietrich — was so fucking ballsy. Right from the get-go she did not give a fuck. She had gay motherfuckers all up in her videos. She had a black Jesus and she did not give a shit. She did not care. She pushed the envelope and she didn’t do that just to be cute. She pushed the envelope because she believed in something. She stood for something.”

Empire tells the story of the comic, camp, cutthroat and ultra-glamorous machinations of a fictional American hip-hop music dynasty, in the mould of Russell Simmons’ Def Jam and Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment.

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About Attitude

EXCLUSIVE: The world’s greatest supermodel Naomi Campbell tells Attitude why gay Empire actor Jussie Smollett is the hottest thing in Hollywood. Also in this issue, legendary director Pedro Almodovar, comedian Zoe Lyons, hot new thriller author Martin Holmen, awesome new music act Nimmo, artist Lindsay Kemp, and drag star Violet Chachki. Plus, professor Brian Cox explains everything you ever needed to know about the universe.
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