Game Ball

by February 13, 2012

by DeMarco Williams

Now in its fifth season, BET’s sports dramedy The Game shows no signs of taking a commercial break. While many tune in for the show’s witty dialogue and good-looking cast, some argue that Hosea Chanchez is the true MVP. Chanchez, who portrays sharp-tongued QB Malik Wright, is known for his quick verbal jabs and solid abs. But there’s more to him than that, including a love for basketball. Unfortunately, with a grueling shooting schedule, Hosea chitchats about the real game more than he’s able to truly follow it these days.

SLAM: You guys went through a lockout-like situation a few years back where the show was actually cancelled. How did it feel having a grassroots fan campaign bring it back?

Hosea Chanchez: The beauty of it is you actually get to see how people come together and manifest what their desires are. It is almost like you finally get a chance to recognize what people want versus what a lot of times other individuals force on them to see, to watch and to support. This is a show that the fans made possible. This isn’t just about me getting a job as an actor anymore. No, this isn’t about me and my audition and all that. This is about the fans rallying together. So, it’s the pride. There is a huge sense of pride associated with it for me.

SLAM: Playing an athlete, there are certain measures of authenticity you have to add. Physically, how do you prepare for the role?

HC: This year, I was on a really strict diet, working out twice a day, sometimes when I could because the work schedule was so crazy. But generally, I get in the gym, which is what I really did this season more than other seasons, because now I’m 30 and things start spreading out a little.

SLAM: Oftentimes, when actors portray athletes, they can go back to their playing days in high school or college for inspiration. Did you do that?

HC: No, I didn’t [play], but my younger brothers did. I didn’t play any sports in high school at all. I was a little bit more interested in girls and cars and getting the hell out of school.

SLAM: Do you just play ball for charity, or do you play pretty regularly now?

HC: The times I have done it, it’s only really been for charity.

SLAM:  Still, it goes down in those games. Hollywood cats get serious out there.

HC: It’s good cardio, that’s for sure. I usually have fun when I do it. I don’t really take a particular angle to it. I know a lot of guys do take it really, really, really serious. But for me, it’s just a fun thing that I do.

SLAM: You grew up in Montgomery, AL. You guys tape The Game in Atlanta. Is it safe to say you’re a Hawks fan?

HC: Ah, you know what? It is not safe to say I’m a Hawks fan.

SLAM: Word? Who do you cheer for then?

HC: Man, I’m L.A. I’ve been here for 10 years. I’m converted. I’m a native. I’m a full L.A. native.

SLAM: More Lakers than Clippers, right?

HC: Oh, yeah, absolutely.