Who Is Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard is an actor from Chicago who rose to fame in the 1990s in independent movies and went on to hammer out one award winning performance after the next in the 2000s with movies such as Hustle & Flow and Crash. The actor would later have a starring role in the most successful movie franchise of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit briefly. Howard is now well known for the playing Lucious Lyon, the lead in the television Fox drama Empire.
Why is he so famous?
As Howard starting getting roles and gaining popularity at break neck speed in the 90s, when he was only in his early 20s, it didn’t take the actor long to start being offered credible roles with pages and pages of dialogue. His first major success at the box office was the drama Mr. Holland’s Opus, in which a struggling high school music teacher tries to balance work and taking care of his deaf son. The young Howard starred alongside heavyweights such as Richard Dreyfuss and William H. Macy. The film went on to not only be nominated for dozens of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it also made over $100 million worldwide.
The 2000s saw Howard’s brand reach heights not even he could have expected. In 2004 he co-starred in Crash, which featured an all star ensemble cast, was again nominated for several awards, and this time won the Academy Award for Best Picture. At this point, it was beginning to look like Howard was a good luck charm, and if he was featured in a movie, it would very likely be nominated for dozens of awards and highly deserving of praise. The following year, Howard scored his first major leading role in Hustle & Flow, a gangster drama revolving around a hustler and pimp who has a dream to become a rapper. The movie earned Howard his first and so far only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Howard had several more notable appearances in the 2000s, such as in Four Brothers, Big Momma’s House, and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but in 2008 Howard scored the most important role of his career. The actor was cast in Iron Man to play James Rhodes, Tony Stark’s sidekick. However, Howard was replaced in Iron Man 2 with his Crash co star, Don Cheadle.
After troubles with negotiating his way in to Iron Man 2, Howard found a modicum of success and comfort in playing the leading role in the Fox drama Empire, which is based around a fictional hip hop label and the family that run it, with Howard playing the head of the family. The show was co-created by Lee Daniels, who has a strong resume of award winning and financially successful movies such as Precious, Monster’s Ball, and The Butler, the latter of which Howard also starred in. Empire has enjoyed millions of viewers, especially in it’s first season, as over 17 million households tuned in for the season finale. Howard has been the star of the show for all six seasons.
When did Terrence Howard really make it?
As Howard was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the very beginning, right at the franchise’s inception with Iron Man, It would be easy to think that Howard has made tens of millions of dollars from the Marvel movies, just like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and the rest of the gang. However, Howard only starred in the one movie, as he was replaced by Don Cheadle, supposedly because Howard was hard to work with on set. Howard, who was promised eight million dollars if a sequel to Iron Man ever came to light, was sandbagged by Marvel Studios and they offered the actor just one million dollars to reprise his role when Iron Man 2 was finally green lit. Needless to say, Howard declined the offer.
Surprisingly enough, Howard’s salary for his role in Iron Man was much larger than that of Robert Downey Jr’s, as the sidekick earned $4.5 million compared to Downey’s $500,000. It is even reported that Howard took a pay decrease just so that Downey could be offered more money. It just goes to show how far being nice in Hollywood gets you.
In light of everything happened with Marvel Studios, Howard landed on his feet and for the past six years he has been sitting comfortably playing Lucious Lyon in Empire, which is based around a fictional hip-hop label and the family that run it. Howard makes $125,000 per episode on Empire, and though it isn’t the highest fee that actors’ have demanded in television, it adds up considering Howard has starred in 102 episodes of the show. If that figure is the average of how much Howard has been paid for each episode of Empire, then the actor would have accrued more than $12.5 million over the period of the show.
What makes him so successful?
Howard’s love of music has helped the actor carve out his own niche and pave the way for him to earn his now iconic role in Empire. Since the beginning of his career he has been working with musicians and creating some of the most unique musical films. He starred in Ray, the biographical movie about Ray Charles, Hustle & Flow, the 50 Cent vehicle Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, and the OutKast project Idlewild. Empire was the big pay off for the actor after working on so many musical projects.
The actor must have good karma as he is always giving people a chance, besides accepting a pay decrease just so his co-star in Iron Man could be given an increase, Howard took a risk and worked with 50 Cent when the rapper hadn’t had a single acting lesson in his life. The two co-starred in Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ when few other actors would. Samuel L. Jackson even said in an interview that he turned down the role in the 50 Cent movie because he didn’t want to work with a rapper who was untrained in acting.
A brief stint in a popular movie franchise and a starring role on a Fox TV show is all you need to make a fortune in Hollywood as Terrence Howard has a massive net worth of $30 million. Though the actor announced his retirement at the back end of 2019, filming is due to resume on the final season of Empire soon, and later this year Howard will star in Cut Throat City, an action movie directed by Wu-Tang Clan member RZA