Terrence Howard misses his former 'Empire' co-star Jussie Smollett.

Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard

The 50-year-old actor has been shooting the sixth and final season of the musical drama and has very much felt the absence of his on-screen son - who was let go from the series after being accused of staging a homophobic attack on himself earlier this year - during the shoot.

Wiping away tears, Terrence told 'Extra': "Jussie has been the heart of the show. He's been my son for six years... I miss my son.

"This is real life we're talking about, we're not talking about dingleberries and applesauce. This is real life."

Terrence also admitted he isn't convinced his alter ego, Lucious Lyon, will survive until the end of the show because he thinks the music mogul's past misdeeds will catch up with him.

He said: "Ultimately, like Paul said, 'The payment of sin is death.' You know, at the end of this season, I do not think Lucius will survive."

The 'Iron Man' actor recently declared he plans to quit his profession when 'Empire' ends, but he still has big plans.

He said: "I want to put my life towards utilising the brain potential we have and help change society."

'Empire' creator Lee Daniels previously admitted he was "beyond embarrassed" to have initially defended Jussie in the wake of the allegations.

He said in June: "I'm beyond embarrassed. I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, my youth, getting beaten.

"Of course, there's some doubt. I'm telling you that because I love him so much. That's the torture that I'm in right now, because it's literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story. That's why it's been so painful. It was a flood of pain."

Jussie - who had played Jamal Lyon since the beginning of the show - was indicted in March with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was attacked by two men in Chicago in January.

He pled not guilty, and charges were eventually dropped later that month.