Aijona Alexus (Code Black) joins the cast of Empire alongside Jeremy Carver and Ezri Walker (The Land). Both Alexus and Carver will portray flashback characters of Cookie (Alexus) and Lucious (Carver) Lyon and will recur in Season 3.

Alexus will be young Cookie, seen in flashback as a beautiful, innocent teenager, whose Catholic school uniform can’t hide “the Cookie spark.” Carver will play Lucious in flashback as a teenager with an incredible voice “and a bad-boy edge that captures the heart” of young Cookie.

Walker will play Zeah, described as a nerdy 16-year old “with an edge and real talent as a rapper. With his high GPA and serious smarts, this teenager finds himself torn between a future at an elite university and a career at Empire under the guidance of the legendary Lucious Lyon.”

In 2012, Alexus starred on the TV One series, The Rickey Smiley Show, a show that is loosely based on the real life of comedienne and radio host Rickey Smiley. In the show Alexus played De’Anna, the only daughter to a single father of three.  She was recently on Season 1 of the CBS series Code Black, and also guest starred on the ABC series Grey’s Anatomy. She can be seen next on the Netflix drama, 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 YA book by Jay Asher.

Season 3 of Empire premieres on Fox on September 21.