Jussie Smollett was apparently doing more than visiting Subway since his enforced downtime.
The former Empire star has a new film, B-Boy Blues, an effort that marks his directorial debut. He screened the film, which still needs a distributor, on Friday in Harlem, and the auteur appeared in-person for a rare sighting outside the court room.
Smollett will stand trial in Chicago starting on Nov. 29 for his role in a phony hate crime that he allegedly helped stage. Smollett originally told police he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. But two men who helped him stage the incident later confessed that Smollett paid them $3,500 to enact the attack, which Smollett hoped to capture on a camera. The case briefly outraged the nation until the details were revealed.
Charges were originally dropped in the case and Smollett forfeited a $10,000 bond. But nearly a year later, Cook County special prosecutor Dan Webb led the move to indict him on six new counts of disorderly conduct and lying to the Chicago Police Department about the alleged January 2019 incident.
The B-Boy Blues film is based on James Earl Hardy’s 1994 novel of the same name.
Smollett posted about the film’s screening on Instagram.
“To see all the love for the film is crazy beautiful,” he said. “More to come while I catch up but to everyone who came out last night with so much love and community… on behalf of everyone @bboybluesfilm, thank you.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.