"That rumor is true," Empire's Jussie Smollett told PEOPLE Friday at the HollyRod Foundation's 17th Annual DesignCare Gala. "That makes me feel so good to say that rumor is true."
Show creator Lee Daniels first spilled the beans that Carey would be making an appearance on the upcoming season when he told the crowd gathered to watch her receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, "Watch her on Empire, you guys."
Though the mother of two has not yet begun filming, Smollett, 32, already knows he will get along just fine with the pop diva.
"She's just the best," Smollett said. "She says 'darling' a lot. But I say 'darling' too as a joke, so it works perfectly. This friendship works very well."
The actor continued: "She's a good human being and a really sweet lady ... don't get me wrong, she's a diva. I said, 'Do you own flats?' She's like 'Darling, no.' Okay. That's why she has dope calf muscles. [She has] the greatness of a diva, but [is also] the regular, chill girl that you just want to chill with."
Though Smollet is tight-lipped about what Carey's role will be – "I'm not getting fired, not this season!" he joked – the anticipation for the upcoming season keeps building.
"There will be some really painful things that happen, some deep changes," Smollett revealed. "The audience has got to keep riding with us and stick with it because it's next-level. It's so exciting. I thought to myself, 'How could we top season one?' But apparently it's possible though. It's crazy. [My character] Jamal is certainly not the same."