Last week kicked off the hour-long fifth season premiere of one of BET’s most anticipated shows, The Game. Viewers happily welcomed back their favorite characters into their homes; quickly making the show a trending topic on Twitter.
When I asked actor Pooch Hall who plays Derwin Davis on the show how he felt about the return of The Game, it was hard for him to hold back his excitement, “Yo! I’m hype, I’m hype!” he excitedly exclaimed.
Wendy Raquel Robinson, who plays Latasha Mack, described the return with the same enthusiasm: “It’s really electrifying,” she continued, “it’s like a snowball and a domino effect!”
Both cast members shared the same energy, Wendy revealed she can’t help it, “when you’re connected to something so incredible you can’t help but be energized.”
Pooch pulled memories from his childhood to accurately explain his high. “Remember the times we use to be with our friends, and we would run around the playground and we had this never ending energy? We didn’t want to go in the house, when our parents called us; we just wanted to keep playing [all day]? Well, that’s how I feel. I feel like a grown child!”
Having dealt with personal struggles and overcoming obstacles, Pooch says he has nothing to be unhappy about: “My family is fed, I have a roof over my head, financially I’m good, I’m eating food I’ve never dreamed I could eat, and I’m having a lot of fun.”
Pooch admits to bringing the same energy on the set of The Game each time he works. Wendy says most of her escapades with her cast members take place in hair and make-up:
“It’s a sacred place for us. We’re not surrounded by cameras, directors and executives, so we clown, we play the dozens and that’s how we get energized. We have 18 hours days; you got to have those icebreakers. It’s an accelerated environment, there’s no room for mistakes, you got to get it in and get it done!”
While the fifth season of The Game is filled with a lot of surprises, it also came along with a few new cast members, including Grammy Award winning recording artist Brandy.
“Yo! Brandy is a beast,” declared Pooch. “Brandy is a professional, we welcomed her with open arms, she did her thing, once they gave her the ball, she just ran with it! People think Brandy replaced Kelly Pitts who is placed by Brittany Daniels, not true, she just took a leave of absence to handle personal business, and she’s still with us.”
Although Wendy only worked one scene with Brandy, she says it was still delightful, “It was fabulous! She was excited she had the jitters like we all did, so it was fresh me, fresh for everybody, it was fun!,” explained Wendy.
A conversation with these two members of the cast revealed that they are serious about the responsibilities they have on The Game. They are ready to shout, cry and emotionally break down through their characters. They want us to believe and stay with them on this heartwarming journey this season. “I’m going to kick ass on that show,” Pooch confirmed.
Get to know Wendy Raquel Robinson and Pooch Hall through this quick Q&A:
Last season, how did you and Terrence J create such amazing chemistry?
Wendy: It was a challenge, he is such a nice and genuine guy, the hard thing was, we were just coming back to a show that we’ve been away from for almost two years. We were shooting the scenes out of sequence, so the day I met Terrence, I never met him before. Our characters had to meet, break up, get back together; we did every scene in two days. So we were just thrown into it and his work ethic was just so wonderful and he made it very easy, you know like fitting into a shoe that was just broken into?
Pooch, You and Tia have amazing chemistry, is her husband ever on set? Awkward!
Pooch: Who Cory? We cool [laughs] Tia is a professional, we respect each other, I would never do anything to upset Tia. Cory’s an actor too, so he understands, but if there was ever a side eye I would be like ‘You OK bruh?’ [laughs]
What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done when they met you?
Pooch: I’ve been told a lot of things, girls have broken down crying. That’s crazy to me, I’ve seen it happen to Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber, you don’t really understand it until, until you actually witness it, you feel some kind of way. But they are tears of joy, I’m so flattered, I just want to entertain, some people want to be sex symbols, I just try to play against that, I use to be an athlete, that’s why I look the way I do with my shirt off.
What can’t you stand about this business?
Pooch: I wish people would have more fun, people get caught up in bullsh*t, it’s like if you’re a child actor and people throw you in the mix and in the bullsh*t, you forget how to be a child. People forget how to have fun. Don’t worry about people telling a superior on you, or if people are too anal, or if it’s raining and thundering outside and its making you five minutes late, and the person ends up chewing you out then fine, that tells you you shouldn’t be working with that person, because it’s only going to get worse while working with them. You got to have fun!
Wendy: Sometimes, the rejection and not always being in control. Your gig can be over and then you are back to one, so it’s a very humbling business.
What is the biggest misconception about being an actress?
Wendy: The great actresses make it look so easy, but it’s not as easy as you think. You have to get the lines right and have it be verbatim! Now you have to transfer that and have people believe that you’re really the [character].
I majored in drama, I went to Howard, it was a very interesting campus, because you had your business majors, and you’d have your pre-med students, and then when they’d ask me what I’m majoring in I’ll say ‘Drama’ and with no enthusiasm they’ll say ‘Really?’ I went to Howard with Taraji P. Henson, that’s my baby sister, we are from the theater.
Last season you had a scene where you ran down the street with just your undergarments on! How do you stay so fit?
Wendy: Pilates, I ride the bike while lifting weights, so I have my lower body and my upper body working at the same time. I get it in!
Pooch you are from Massachusetts, how did you make it out of there?
Pooch: Strategic planning and a lot of focus! Putting yourself in the right position to win. Let me explain something to you man, I learned a lot growing up in Boston. I thought sports were going to be my way out, I took what was given to me, positive and negative and used it as fuel and energy. In Boston when you told people you’re going to be in a movie, people would laugh and say ‘You have a better chance at winning the lottery.’ On my Twitter, my bio says ‘they told me to keep dreaming and I did,’ that’s real talk.
Lathleen is an entertainment reporter and freelance writer; she spends most of her time writing. Follow her on twitter @Lathleen