Marisa Tomei is making a rare return to series television.
What drew the Oscar-winning actress back to the small screen is a juicy role on Empire as a lesbian Forbes list billionaire.
Tomei will appear in a multi-episode arc as demanding venture capitalist Mimi Whiteman who Deadline Hollywood describes as a lover of ‘hip hop music, social trends, high-end fashion and beautiful women.
Empire, created by openly gay director-writer-producer Lee Daniels, already has a high-profile gay character played by Jussie Smollett who came out to the world in dramatic fashion at the end of the show’s first season.
Tomei won the supporting actress Oscar for My Cousin Vinny and was also nominated in the same category for In the Bedroom and The Wrestler.
But before her career in movies, she was one of the leads on the NBC sitcom A Different World which was a spinoff of The Cosby Show. Her character was written out after the show’s first season.
Since then, Tomei has done a recurring role on the FX drama Rescue Me but has largely appeared only in feature films including Unhook the Stars, The Paper, The Ides of March and last year’s gay-themed Love is Strange.