*The second season finale of VH1’s “Hit The Floor” saw Devil baller Terrence lead his team to the finals – and broke his leg taking them to a dramatic and fateful overtime.
Season 3 of the hit drama series premiered Monday night and EUR/Electronic Urban Report chatted with series star Robert Christopher Riley about his character’s road to recovery this season, and how Terrence must now figure out where he stands in the pecking order with Derek as the new King of L.A.
I know you can’t tell us much about this new season, so not to spoil it for viewers, but can you share anything about the type of growth Terrence experiences compared to last season?
Rob: Terrance is getting older. He’s approaching Kobe Bryant phase, so he’s on his way out, and as such, if you’re intelligent, you start preparing for the end of your career and what comes next. Terrance is going to have his eye on that as much as he’s going to have his eye on getting back on the court and being the great basketball player that he is.
What sort of viewer loves your character?
Rob: Well, Terrance takes his shirt off a lot so he’s got his fair share of lady fans, so thank you ladies, and guys who like Terrance taking his shirt off. No shade, as they say. I do appreciate when people come up to me and tell me that I do a great job as an actor on the show and how great a show it is. I really appreciate those folks.
In what ways are you and Terrance similar?
Rob: Terrance and I are quite a bit alike. If I was a professional athlete, I would probably be just like Terrance. He’s intelligent. He’s an distinguished gentlemen. He carries himself well and understands his position in society as a role model and obviously you can deduce a lot of that from his relationship with Derek, and how leads on and off the court. He’s a proud black man who is trying to make a difference in the world in a positive way. He also loves his lady and does right by her, incredibly so. Me and Terrance got a lot in common, thank God.
What makes “Hit The Floor” so magical that it continues to resonate with viewers?
Rob: I often use the word salacious to describe the show. Obviously there’s a lot of sexy people, a lot of sexy events. The dancing is top notch. The choreography is amazing. We were nominated for two (2015) World Choreography Awards. It’s nice to see all those different shades of brown people in leading roles on television not making assess of themselves. I think that has a lot to do with it. It’s a show with great actors on it. It’s got some great story lines, and it kind of strikes a positive note for us in the entertainment landscape, us being the brown folks. It’s a multicultural show. I love it.
How have you stayed busy since wrapping the series last May?
Rob: I shot The Perfect Match with Terrence J and Lauren London, Donald Faison, Dascha Polanco directed by Billie Woodruff. It’s a romantic comedy. It should be out 2016. I shot an independent film called Destined with Cory Hardrict, LaLa Anthony, Mo McRae, Jesse Metcalfe, Hill Harper. That was more of gritty drama set in Detroit. That’ll be out 2016. I started my own production company called Hollywood Massive. Our goal is to raise cultural awareness and increase ancestral and cultural pride in all of us who are descendents of the diaspora. We also produce Caribbean Carnival. I’m first generation American born. My mother’s from Trinidad. My father’s from Barbados. I was raised in Flatbush in the Caribbean community, so as a result of that, one of the things that Hollywood Massive does is produce Carnival. We’re producing the Hollywood Carnival on June 24.
Have you read anything about yourself on social media or Black Twitter that made you go, ‘Hold up now, that’s not true!’?
Rob – Unfortunately we’re still incredibly homophobic in the African American community. The only thing I’ve ever seen somebody write something that was ridiculous is saying I was gay. I take the George Clooney route when it comes to somebody saying something like that. Which is, I’m not going to react to it in a way that’s like, ‘Oh, I’m not gay!,’ because it makes it seem like there’s something wrong with being homosexual or part of the LGBT community, which there isn’t. I have far too many friends in that community for me to make it seem like I’m upset that somebody suggesting that. I’m straight, but the point is, that is one of those things that we need to cut out. We don’t have enough to be that divisive.
“Hit The Floor” airs Monday nights at 9/8c on VH1.