Starring alongside big acting such as Dwayne Johnson, John David Washington and Omar Benson Miller, actor London Brown is reprising his role as Reggie in the fifth season of the American Television series “Ballers”.
The first episode of the new season is expected to hit the small screen at the end of the summer. We sat down with London Brown and talked about “Ballers”, his newest short film and his vision on life.
Liselotte Vanophem: Hi London, how are you doing?
London Brown: I’m fine, thanks! How are you?
LV: Fine, too. Thanks! Well, congratulations on the 5th season of “Ballers”. When will we be able to see it?
LB: I think it’s in August.
LV: Looking forward to seeing yourself on screen again?
LB: Well, I don’t really watch it, honestly. I’ve only watched the first two seasons actually.
LV: How did your character Reggie has been evolved from the first season to the newest one?
LB: I really have been able to enjoy the fact that Reggie matured. During the first season, he was a little reckless in his choices and he wasn’t really good with numbers. It might also still be in this latest season but at least he’s guided into the right direction. He picked up some experience along the way and now he understands the business sides of numbers and negotiations. People are really going to enjoy that part of Reggie.
LV: Do you have input in how his life is going to progress or is it just in the hands of the producers, directors, and creator?
LB: No, they’re actually really cool about allowing me to explore Reggie. There’s always room for improvisation and they allow me to put a couple of jokes in the script. They’re really open in that way. That’s why I love working with the directors of “Ballers”. They allow me to explore as an actor.
LV: Were there any scenes that weren’t scripted beforehand that made it into the television series?
LB: Yeah, there were a lot of different things that just worked out in the way that I thought. A lot of things were discussed on the spot and the actors would show each other different jokes that could be used. Everyone was really cool in that way.
LV: It’s also a big and famous cast you’re working with on the series. Do you still remember the first day you met everyone?
LB: Yeah, I do. That first day was very special. A lot of those actors already know each other because they all had an extended resume. They worked with each before but never with me. The chemistry between the actors was always really good. There was never weird energy and it was just a natural click. No attitude, no ego. I think all of us were professional in that way. It was just mutual respect between each other from the very first day working together. It’s still there. I just hanged out with a couple of them to do some press work last weekend and the two guys I was with I never hang out with them before. Despite that fact that we worked on the same show, we don’t always see each other on set because our storylines don’t cross. One of those guys called the other two of us and said that maybe we could do some press work together. We flew in, we did it and there was just great chemistry. We were so cool being able to be around each other without any sort of ego.
LV: Do you guys also see each other off-set and non-work related?
LB: No, most of the time it’s work-related. Or at least that’s with me. When I do hang out, there has to be a connection with work somewhere or I feel bad. I feel like I’m not progressing enough if I’m just hanging out. That’s my own vision obviously and I can’t speak for everyone.
LV: Last year the series was nominated for two Emmy’s and a few days ago, the nominations for this year were announced. You guys weren’t nominated but did you follow it?
LB: Yes, I did. I try to keep up with things like that cause something I have some friends who are nominated and even this year, there’s a short film [Asia A] that I did and that’s now screening at multiple film festivals and we’re hoping to possibly win some awards and then the film would be able to be nominated for an Emmy this year. That would be a cool thing. So we will see but I definitely try to keep up with it.
LV: Asia A is a man having to deal with a spinal cord injury and it’s a very emotional film. Sadly, it’s also based on the life of director Andrew Reid himself. How was it for you to read that script for the first time?
LB: They send it over and I read it. When I was reading it I could really appreciate the flow of the story. I’m always checking the flow and making sure that the dialogues are natural. When I got into the depth of the story, I realized it had a lot of layers that I hadn’t tapped into until that point. I was excited to take on this challenge because it was an emotional piece and it would be totally different from my previous work. I was definitely looking forward to that challenge when it came in. I knew I had to go to a certain place emotionally and connect with some other stuff. I was excited to dive into that. It was a lot and very intense because it was not a funny movie at all. The director was there and I could ask him questions and we would break it all done for me. It was a challenge for me but I grew because of it.
LV: Does an emotional film like this about life make you think differently about life and how quickly it can change?
LB: Sadly, a couple of years before that, my brother got murdered and that definitely changed my perspective on life. I was able to pull from some of that happening and jump into this role and this film. It was the experience of what happened to my brother and the experience of what happened to the director, who’s still handicapped, that let me know about how precious life is. How things can change very fast from one moment to another. It was a really grounded film. Not like Reggie and totally not like the Brooklyn rapper that I played in my first scripted show. It was something totally different. I’ve heard that the reviews of the film were really good. I hope that we can make it into a feature film and tell the story because it’s one that needs to be told and shared. So where did your passion for film and television come from?
LV: Where did your passion for film and television come from?
LB: Well, I’ve always known that I wanted to be an artist early one but I always thought that I was going to be an animator. I was a musician as well and recorded some music. As far as acting, that really clicked when I was about sixteen and when I did a play called “The Rebel without a cause” in which I played a character named Plato. During this role, I felt like acting was really the thing I wanted to do. Being there for an audience was something special for me. Then I figured it out and I knew that that was it. I like being on stage, I enjoyed that. Wanting to be an artist is different than deciding to become one.
LV: Do you already have other projects you’re working on apart from “Ballers”?
LB: I’m bringing my script in to get an offer at the moment and if it goes through then I’ll start that in a few weeks. It’s a scripted project for audio. It should be a good one. Aside from that, I might hit the road again with my stand-up. Connecting with people and that kind of thing.