At age 18, Becky G has already scored a hit song and a guest spot on Empire, one of TV’s hottest shows. The pop star will appear on the Fox drama Wednesday night as aspiring Latina singer Valentina, Hakeem’s (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) first acquisition for Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) new record label.
Despite a passion for singing, Becky says she shares few other commonalities with her character. “I’m not confrontational at all and this girl has no problem getting in anybody’s face,” Becky tells EW. “She wants to be a superstar and she’ll do anything and everything to be that. She causes a lot of trouble and makes some people fall in love.”
Fans can look forward to hearing some music from Becky on Wednesday night’s episode, but she’ll trade in “Shower” for Empire originals that reflect Valentina. “She’s a really strong person and it’s really easy to take it in a bad way, but I think you can see down inside she’s really ambitious and hungry to get to be where she wants to be in her career and in life,” the YouTube breakout star says. “In the music, you can hear that.”
Becky couldn’t reveal much more about the episode’s plot, but explained she received her nickname on set, Baby Cookie, from the production crew. And when it came to meet the real Cookie, Becky says she felt starstruck: “My first time in hair and makeup, Taraji walked into her trailer and I was screaming inside. I didn’t have it in me to introduce myself. But by the end of me shooting all my scenes it was really cool to hug all of them and thank them for helping me get through my first acting gig.”
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On set, Henson supported the newcomer. When Becky had difficulty filming her final scene, she says the Lyon family matriarch shouted, “All y’all gotta be quiet, she’s gonna get it!” And Terrence Howard, who plays Lucious Lyon, offered Becky a “cool little trick.”
“While we were shooting my last scene with Taraji, Terrence, and Yazz, and it came time to do my close-up, I was so nervous and Taraji and Terrence were o on the other side of the camera feeding me my lines,” Becky explains. “I kept looking down at my mark and the director kept telling me to stop looking down. Terrence asks me to close my eyes and brings me out of the room. He says, ‘Count to 10, don’t look down, and say your lines.’ And then I’m on my mark, I don’t look down, and I say my lines.”
Though Becky nailed her final scene with some help from Howard, there’s no plans for Valentina to reappear on the show just yet. But as long as the timing is right, she’s open to heading back to the Chicago set. “If the opportunity came along, which is how the story line is left,” the singer says, “I’d definitely think about it.”
For now, Becky — who kicked off her La Familia tour last week — will share behind the scenes footage on her social media accounts, and watch season 2’s second episode on the road. She says, “I’m going to make my dancers watch it!”
See Becky, along with fellow guest stars Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Kelly Rowland when Empire airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.