Happy birthday to Jussie Smollett! The performer got his start with roles in movies like The Mighty Ducks, but has come into his own on the TV series Empire. We figured Smollett probably has enough money to buy anything he could ever need or want, so instead our birthday gift to him is a few suggestions about roles we’d love to see him take on next:
An appearance in a live-action musical
TV networks are all about them these days. We’ve seen The Sound of Music (oof) and Grease (excellent) and then there was Dirty Dancing (eh). Since Smollett has singing chops in addition to acting skills, we’d love to see him show off both in a role in whatever musical the networks remake next.
A role in a sports-themed movie
The Mighty Ducks is where it all began for him, so we’d love for Smollett to bring it back to his roots.
A role on Master of None
Smollett did his turn on The Mindy Project, so why not move to another, equally appealing, equally light-hearted show? Aziz Ansari is always in need of a new friend for adventures, and we think Smollett would be a perfect fit.
Co-hosting a game show or a talk show
He nailed it as one of Kelly Ripa’s guest hosts when she was in search of a permanent replacement for Michael Strahan. Though he didn’t land the gig full-time, we could definitely see him hosting a game show or a talk show on his own.
In a biopic
He did an excellent portrayal of Langston Hughes in the movie Marshall, and we’d love to see him play the lead in a biopic in the future.
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, and others.