"The preacher will say, 'Y'all give it up for the girl from Empire,' so I take the back door to exit. The bad part is that people that did me wrong in the past now try to reach out to me like we are friends." Empire actress Ta'Rhonda Jones, who plays sassy assistant Porsha, struggles to go unnoticed at church in her native Chicago, Illinois now the hip-hop drama has become such a big hit.