*Pooch Hall is most known for his role as the sexy football player Derwin Davis on The CW/BET sitcom “The Game,” and many fans of the series have been left wondering what the actor has been up to since leaving the show. As he revealed to EUR/Electronic Urban Report during a recent chat, many Pooch fans simply assumed he fell off — quit the business after “The Game,” unaware that he actually left one hit show for another.
Since 2013, Hall has starred on Showtime’s award-winning crime drama series “Ray Donovan,” playing the biracial son of veteran actor Jon Voight’s character. However, he confessed that the transition from one cable show to another wasn’t easy. Matter fact, it was like arriving to LA for the first time and starting from scratch. Luckily, though, the diehard Pooch fans helped him stay motivated.
“I really appreciate the true diehard fans, and the fans that we’ve gathered since we’ve started filming,” Hall told us. “It’s been wonderful and I have a melting pot of fans. They’ll stop me in the airport and be like, ‘We love Ray Donovan.’ They call me Ray Donovan even though I’m Daryll Donovan.”
Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as L.A.’s best professional fixer, and co-stars Jon Voight as Ray’s ex-con father. At the end of last season, Daryll told his dad that he basically wanted nothing to do with him, leaving fans of the series wondering if this is truly the end of the wild shenanigans between Daryl and his dad.
“Yes and no,” Hall said.
“Yes, I was upset with what my father had done, and me just really trying to be excepted. But I never wanted to give up the Donovan name because the one Donovan that I needed to win over and want to win over still is Ray,” Hall explained. “Liev Schreiber is like my big brother for real, and even the great Jon Voight, he’s like my father. We have a real family comradery, but Ray warned all of us that, “Guys, you’re making a big mistake with him.” And me just wanting to be around my father, I didn’t care that he’s a wolf. He was my dad and I wanted to make him proud and prove that I’m a loyal son and a different son than everyone else, but come to find out, he’s a bad dude. And you’re going to see some scenes in season four where it’s like, Daryll is really growing up. He has to stand on his own as a man and understand that, yes, he’s my father but he’s a little twisted, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love the guy.”
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Hall said that the fan response to him having a white dad and black mom on “Ray Donovan” has been “mixed,” and he described the overall vibe after he left “The Game.”
“I had a lot of people who were like, ‘Where’s Pooch?,’ after I left The Game. A lot of people didn’t know where I went to because of the separation from The Game. I didn’t really have a segue going to Ray Donovan, and I don’t think BET really let anyone know that Pooch is going over to another show. I kinda had to do everything on my own, with my team. So there were fans who thought I didn’t want to act anymore, and then there were fans who were like, ‘I think he’s doing other projects.’ And then there were the die-hard Pooch fans who were like, ‘He’s on Ray Donovan. He’s crossed-over. He’s in the big leagues.’ So it was a lot of mixed emotions.”
Every actor experiences the ups and downs of Hollywood, so we asked Hall what’s harder: To get started, or to keep going?
“They both have their pros and cons, because people come up to me all the time and ask, ‘How’d you get started?’ or ‘How do I get on?’ And I ask them, ‘Do you want to be an actor or do you want to be famous?,’ said Pooch. “There’s a difference between acting and being famous. If you want to be famous, that’s probably the easiest thing ever. You can go out and do something obnoxious publicly and the way people are filming and documenting stuff, you’ll become famous in two-seconds. But it depends on who you are as a person.”
“Now if you want to be an actor, you can start at a local community theater. You can start in your church. You can start in the public and get on that grind and hit the pavement in New York. I pounded the pavement in New York, and it eventually led me out here and I go on those runs and I put in the work. You have to be willing to work.”
Pooch believes, “The easiest thing I think you can do is become famous,” but he warns young hopefuls who don’t want to put in the work that, “Nothing good comes easy.”
“I’ve been in this business now for twelve years and I can’t say that when I first started that I would’ve been on Ray Donovan. I wouldn’t have been ready. But I’ve worked to where here I am. So I think that it’s probably just as hard to make it as an actor, and just as hard to maintain because when you make it to a place like myself, where I started on The Game which was amazing and I had all the support from the network and then The Game ended, I had to start over,” he explained. “But I had to start over knowing that I had my fan base. So you have to harness your fan base. You have to harness your talent and your connections and relationships and nurture those and take them to the new network or the new project and be like, ‘Alright, let’s go!'”
“Ray Donovan” Season 4 premieres Sunday, June 26 at 9 PM ET/PT on Showtime.