“The Dia Diaries” had to privilege to attend a beautiful Brunch at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to interview the stars of the hit TV show “THE GAME”; A BET series about players of a fictional San Diego football team and the women involved with them. As the shows heads into the final quarter of its record breaking run, we were able to ask a few questions to some of the stars of season nine.
We first met with actress Wendy Raquel Robinson who is best known for her role as Tasha Mack, a feisty mom and sports manager of her son. She plays the role of an outspoken woman who keeps her son in line as far as he does personally and professionally. Next to her sat Lauren London, who plays Keira Whitaker; an actress who gained her fame for playing one of the characters in a long running Cosby-esque family sitcom. As a former child star she is trying to figure out who she really is as a young woman.
TDD: With the show coming to and end with its ninth season, how do you ladies feel?
Wendy Raquel Robinson: Very bittersweet. As soon as I started filming the show everybody on the team blended so well together. We have created such a strong family bond and created many memories that will never go away. We all knew that some day this was going to happen, but I am so blessed and thankful that I have been a part of this journey.
Lauren London: The same thing goes for me! As I came in to the show later on during season six everybody was so welcoming and friendly. It felt as if I had already known them for years. I am going to miss seeing everybody together.
TDD: You ladies played these strong female characters for years, were there any challenges within playing the characters itself? Or did you face difficult challenges trying to balance the show and your personal life?
Wendy Raquel Robinson: Wendy is a very needy character and I am not like that at all so sometimes that was hard to relate to. However, I have been acting for so long and playing this role for years, so over time I got used to it.
TDD: Did you discover anything about yourself from playing this character?
Wendy Raquel Robinson: During the show I gave birth and once that happens, I think your whole perspective about life changes, especially as a woman. You are going to see everything from such a different angle, which is a beautiful thing.
Lauren London: I think for me it was sometimes challenging to play the character of Keira because I never played a character like her before. The hardest part of this journey was definitely the distance between my son and I. I have missed every year’s Halloween with him. To me that is huge because I want to be there for him as much as possible. On the next job I definitely want to make sure that I can be with him during the holidays.
TDD: So with season nine airing this summer, what is next for you ladies?
Lauren London: Right now I just want to spend time with my child. We shoot the show in Atlanta so it is nice to be back in Los Angeles again. I am just going to be a full time mom until something new comes up that I want to pursue.
Wendy Raquel Robinson: I am going more towards writing and producing. During The Game I already felt in charge a lot of times by creating this character with the writers and producers. From this learning experience and acting for years I think this new path will be very interesting.
Next up we met with Jay Ellis, who plays Bryce (Blue) Westbrooke. A draft pick from Stanford University who is highly intelligent. He was traded from Baltimore to San Diego in exchange for former main character Derwin.
(Jay Ellis and Raquel Robinson)
TDD: How are you feeling with The Game coming to an end?
Jay Ellis: I am happy and sad at the same time. It is definitely hard and I am sad to leave the cast, but nine seasons for a television show is amazing and I am happy I have been a part of that!
TDD: As you started working on this show during season six, what has been one of the highlights of your career over the past few years?
Jay Ellis: Well, before I started working on the shows I was already a fan of it and I used to watch every episode. When the opportunity came up for me to be a part of it there was no doubt in my mind. I was so excited. When season six premiered and the whole cast was in New York City to watch it was one of the best moments of my life. Just being able to watch myself working on a show with all these amazing people was such a great feeling. Something I will never forget.
TDD: Did you learn anything about yourself during your work on the show?
Jay Ellis: Yes! I am starting to figure out that I definitely want to do more comedy (shows). Comedy is challenging because the audience is going to think you are funny or not at all. It can be difficult but I like that challenge. I worked harder on this show than ever before in my life. It is also very important to be in the moment and enjoy every minute of it. You do not know if you are ever going to get another opportunity like this again.
TDD: Were you able to relate to the character of Blue?
Jay Ellis: Yes. Once I started to get in touch with the character I understood where he was coming from and the decisions he made. I did not always agree with him, but I understood him. That was sometimes challenging, but once I was in character I was in.
TDD: Can you give us any hints for season nine of The Game?
Jay Ellis: Get ready to be surprised. There is going to happen a lot with the cast this season.
Last but not least I met up with Coby Bell – starring as Jason Pitss, the San Diego Sabers team captain. He is the ex-husband of Kelly Pitts, played by Brittany Daniel who also joined the conversation.
TDD: As you are wrapping up the show what has been one of your most memorable experiences?
Coby Bell: The friendships we have all created. The success of the show would not have been made possible without any of the actors and people behind the cameras. They are family to me. It is going to be bittersweet to not being able to work with all of them together.
Brittany Daniel: Yes we created some pretty amazing memories. Though I have to admit that the funniest moment for me was the stripper pole episode with Tia, Wendy, and I. I pitched the idea to the producer and we started to take stripping pole dance classes together, which was hilarious. I was making a joke at that time, but never thought that they would actually makes an episode out of that.
TDD: It is such a great workout too!
Daniel: Oh yes! I already used to take classes before. I love working out and eating healthy in general. I always have to make sure I am camera ready. You never really know in advance if you are going to have a scene were you are only wearing underwear!
TDD: What was the hardest part of playing your character?
Coby Bell: I loved playing Jason. It was not hard portraying his character. I had a lot of fun with it.
Brittany Daniel: I was sad when my character left the show for a while, but I understood her. I was going through some of my own personal battles during that time as well that I did not tell anybody about until I came back to the show.
TDD: Throughout your career, have there been any influential or inspiring people?
Coby Bell: My father. Well, also sixteen years ago when I was on the set of ER with George Clooney. I saw how normal he interacted with people and just thought how inspiring that was. He is one of the biggest actors nowadays, but treated everybody the same. That is someone I want to be.
Brittany Daniel: It is funny that you said that because I met George Clooney one time as well. He is so down to earth and when I talked to him he seemed so interested in who I was, while he is George Clooney!!
TDD: Will the audience expect dramatic changes in your characters this final season?
Coby Bell & Brittany Daniel: Yes! There will be shifts in every character this season. Be ready to get surprised!
After years of laughter, surprises, and tears, The Game will be coming to an end. On June the third the first episode of their last season will air on BET. Make sure to tune in!
By: Bo Wester (The Dia Diaries Fashion Contributor)
Chandia Brennen is a Certified Image Consultant and CEO of ItsGood2bME Fashion Consulting and Image Management based in Los Angeles CA, Chandia has been in the Fashion industry for over four years. She has worked for dozens of publications and holds the title of Senior Fashion Editor in both LA and NY. Chandia is a fashion scout for a Design Agency in NY and Brand Ambassador for HairEverywhere Luxury.