Trai Byers Grateful for Bipolar 'Empire' Character Seeking Spiritual Identity

Trai Byers
Cast member Trai Byers attends a screening of the television series "Empire" in Los Angeles, California, March 12, 2015. |

Trai Byers hasn't publicly addressed rumors since his first appearance in the cast of FOX's hit show "Empire" last year, but one in particular is causing the Christian actor to speak up.

In the midst of reports questioning if Byers, 32, would leave the primetime drama because he wants a bigger role, the actor is taking to Instagram to speak up. Byers portrays Andre, a bipolar man who is beginning his journey into Christianity, which is important to the actor.

"I don't normally spend my time dispelling rumors, but there is something I'd like to address. I have nothing but love and respect for 'Empire' and all who are involved on the show," Byers wrote. "I have a fabulous relationship with FOX, and hold myself to the highest standards professionally. How could I think of demanding something larger than Andre, where I get to express a man with Bipolar disorder, who is on a spiritual journey to find his identity?"

The actor expressed his gratitude for the dramatic hip-hop series, making it clear that he would be back for another season.

"I'm so proud, so happy, and so lucky to be a part of this cast," he wrote. "This show has started my career. See you in Season Three!"

Byers' character Andre was first introduced as a villain on the show, before character development revealed unresolved childhood issues and a bipolar disorder. When he first appeared on the show, Byers received threats from fans who likened the actor to the character he played on television.

However, this reminded the actor to put his faith to practical use.

"On social media and on the street people were saying, 'if I see Trai on the street I'm going to slap him in the face.' Whether it's true or not, It's not a good thing to hear," Byers previously recalled to The Christian Post. "Ultimately knowing God and reading the Word it helps with patience with people, understanding, empathy and sympathy that they might not have that I have. If God gave it to me, why not exercise it?"

Weeks later, it seems Byers' patience paid off after people familiar with the struggles of mental illness began to thank him for his realistic approach on the show. With Nielsen reporting that nearly 15 million people tuned in to watch creator Lee Daniels' "Empire" Season 1 finale, Byers understands the responsibility that comes along with the platform he was given.

"I know a part of my journey now, the reason I'm an actor now, the platform that I have now, I'm supposed to share the Lord with people. All of us are disciples on some level," he told CP in March 2015. "You don't have to be behind the podium to tell a story, connect with people and share the gospel."

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