Ballers: Donovan Carter Talks His Life From Football to Acting

The sports world shenanigans continue.

Ballers: The Complete Third Season is the hilarious comedy starring Dwayne Johnson that explores the glamorous, and often cutthroat, world of pro football, as seen through a group of past and present players striving to stay in the game.

The series is helmed by HBO production mainstay Steve Levinson and executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson.

LRM had a phone interview last month with actor Donovan Carter in his supporting role for the series.

Ballers: The Complete Third Season is available for Digital Download today with HBO

Read our interview transcript below:

LRM: Congratulations with season three of HBO’s Ballers. Are you guys off to season four pretty soon?

Donovan Carter: Yeah, we’re supposed to start [production] at the end of the year.

LRM: That’s awesome. Let’s talk about Season 3 with Ballers that is out on digital download today and then Blu-ray pretty soon. Could you sum up on where your character went in Season 3?

Donovan Carter: In Season 2, Vernon had a little injury. He tried to work his way back on to the field. For this season, he’s back. He’s healthy. He’s back into playing ball like on how he knows. He and his business partner/cousin/manager Reggie decided to get into more things with their money. They ended up getting involved with this weed company called High Power. The league, NFL and weed doesn’t really mix. They ended up getting into a little trouble. Vernon gets suspended into a few games, because he had to take a drug test and ends up failing.

The cool thing on what they did with the story was that they tried to pump up on the other things that the company is involved in besides smoking marijuana and other PEDs that helped to get back on the field faster. I think it’s relevant to what’s going on in the NFL now. Players are trying to petition on trying to have weed legal, because they’re using it not for recreation–also to help them get back on the field. They’re taking on these pills that’s not best for your body.

With all that, Vernon gets into a little trouble. Reggie and Vernon had to think about their money that the game has to come to an end at some point. They’re really trying to think on what to do with his money. So when he retires, they’ll be able to do the things he wants to do. Other players have to get a job or do something to feed their families in order keep this lifestyle.

It’s kind of smart. The problem is he didn’t question the company he invested in. You’ll have to respect the fact that they’re trying to do something with their money. It’s to step it up when they will retire.

LRM: How much can you relate to your character?

Donovan Carter: I could relate to many things he does and many things he doesn’t. For being a young African-American male–I could relate to him. I can see the success he has, but I don’t have the money that Vernon has. I can definitely relate to the attention he gets and the things he does. He has to think that [his life] is looked upon under a microscope. Anything he does is a reflection of [himself], his family and his team, because all the actions will reflect the Dallas Cowboys and Spencer, the agent that represents him.

You have to think about things before you do it. It might seems like a good idea, but you have to think about the other people before you make a decision.

I try to think about things I get involved with outside of football. The people around me with money are coming in all different ways and all different avenues. I can relate to him in the way that he wants to get involve into things with his money besides football. At some point, it’s not all going to last forever.

LRM: By working in Ballers, does it make you feel like you’re an NFL player yourself?

Donovan Carter: Sometimes. I used to play football. Some people on the streets who don’t recognize me from the show will be asking me on what team I play or what team I used to play. It’s the best of both worlds. I was going to be a football player and that I used to. It was kind of cool. I do get more attention than these [real] football players. You don’t see their faces with their helmets, pads and uniforms on. People will recognize you with your face and noticed that I look like I could still play football a little bit.

LRM: Who on the set do you enjoy acting alongside the most?

Donovan Carter: I enjoy acting with everybody. I really do acting with Reggie (London Brown)–we have a really good vibe. In all of our relationships, it always start with him. With Rob (Corddry), Omar (Benson Miller), Dwayne (Johnson), JD (Washington) and Troy (Garity), I could work with these guys all day. Their characters are all amazing. They make my job a whole lot easier.

LRM: How did you get into the start of acting for yourself?

Donovan Carter: After I got out of college, I wanted to play in the NFL. I did graduate, but it didn’t work out. I went home and back to the drawing board. I was pondering on what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to do something that I’ll work at and something that I would be passionate about. I did get this opportunity to be on this show.

I wasn’t really planning on going into this business. It just came to me. I didn’t really have anything else secure for a job. I tried to see on what it was going to be like. I ended up loving it, and I’m going to be in Season 4 now.

LRM: Did you wish you were playing football instead of acting?

Donovan Carter: Not anymore. When I first started and before acting, I had these withdrawals. I did want to play football. But now, I’m doing this and I’m loving it. This is really my passion and it doesn’t even feel like work. I don’t even think about football anymore. I’m content. I’m happy on the life after football had me to go. I get to do some amazing things. I got me to my new life and my new career.

I’m content on walking away from the game. This is the best I can do.

LRM: What kind of roles do you like to play? Is comedy your best feature?

Donovan Carter: I would love to do comedy. I love laughing. I love the movies that make you laugh. I would love to get into comedies and dramas. I would even love to get into all those superhero movies or to be a man of action too. I just want to be able to show my range and to be able to do different things. It’s about that I could this and I could do that. I can look back into my career.

LRM: Can you tease us a little bit on what we can expect for Vernon in Season 4?

Donovan Carter: No, I can’t. But for me, I would expect hopefully for him to grow up and make less mistakes. I want to see growth. Hopefully, you’ll see him turn from young man to a grown man. Hopefully, we’ll see him make better decisions in the future.

LRM: One more quick question, if you did play for the NFL–which team you would’ve loved to play on?

Donovan Carter: I’m a Redskins fan. I would’ve loved to play for the Redskins, because that’s my team. I would’ve loved to play for any team. As long as my name is on the back of a jersey and I could play–that’ll be my journey at the end of the day.

LRM: I love the show. Enjoyed this conversation. Thank you.

Donovan Carter: Take care.

Ballers: The Complete Third Season is available for Digital Download today with HBO.

Source: Exclusive to LRM

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