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On Friday night, HBO and the American Black Film Festival hosted an intimate event to celebrate the network’s new series Ballers, which stars actors Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’ and Dulé Hill. 

Held at glamorous 30th-floor cocktail lounge, The Skylark with views and deck overlooking midtown Manhattan, guests and industry people mingled the entire night. It was a baller night, with a lot of ballers in the room.  In attendance was Victor Cruz, the wide receiver for the New York Giants along with actors Dule Hill, Lance Gross, Cory Hardrict and TV personalities Bevy Smith and AJ Calloway. DJ Wonder provided the evening’s soundtrack. Jayson Rodriguez of RevoltTv hosted the event.  Check out a few highlights from the Q and A.

 

Jayson: Ballers is a show about reinvention. About what do you do when you get injured, what do you do when you succeed, what do you do when you have setbacks. So seeing this show and living it in the real life and also participating in episode 3, what was that experience like for you in terms of how you saw it being real life and being part of the cast and trying to amplify the storyline to people?

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Victor:  It was very real, they have some ex-NFL players that are on the writers staff so it kind of made it easy for them to put it together and have realistic stories of things that actually happen on a day-to-day basis.  Showing the NFL players off season, so it’s very accurate to the things I went through to the things I still go through coming off an injury.  Mentally I still have those things to get over similar to the things that go on through the show.  It was really accurate and I just happen to be a part of something that happens to be on HBO with these great people.

 

Jayson: The show deals with some real complicated topics.  Its deals with injuries, it deals with finances but it’s injected with a lot of humor.  Dulé is the GM of one of the teams.  I saw a couple of episodes and trust me his teeth are sharp. For you dealing with this material that’s very serious with the undertone of humor how does that help you project the message that you are trying to deliver for your scenes?

 

Dulé: That’s a deep question but life is humorous. In the mist of all the drama we have in our lives, you’re always going to find funny ways to look at it.  Working with wonderful actors it was very easy to stay in the moment and let it come alive.  These cats are bringing some really extreme things to the TV and all I have to do is react to it.

 

Tune into the season premiere of Ballers which airs at 10:00 pm on June 21 on HBO.

-Yanique Bourjolly

Photo Credit: Dorothy Hong