Empire actor Jussie Smollett on coming out: 'I do understand why it is something to talk about'

Empire star Jussie Smollett has said that his recent coming out was a "bigger deal" for everyone other than himself. The actor, who plays gay singer/songwriter Jamal Lyon in the hit US drama, told chatshow host Ellen DeGeneres that "there's never been a closet that I've been in" during his interview. Jussie2 Speaking about the positive reaction he has received, Smollett told Variety: "It was a bigger deal to everyone than it was for me. But at the same time I do understand why it is something to talk about.” However, he reiterated that he had not come out so that his private life could become public property. "I didn't talk to Ellen so that people could be like, 'Oh my God, let's see what Jussie does in his bedroom in his private life'," he told Ellen. "But I did talk to her so that people understood that they're not alone. That's all." Discussing his role as Jamal, the 31-year-old explained: "You don't always get these experiences as an artist of [playing] roles where you feel the impact of what you’re doing, but I do. And that as an artist, as an activist, as a man, it's feeding my soul." More Stories: Viewers divided over Cucumber/Banana finale Watch Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama’s Uptown Funk dance-off