Brittany Daniel Talks Her Shrinking Role on ‘The Game’ and Why She’s An Honorary Sister
After being canceled on The CW, The Game will be coming back to television soon on BET. What have been the biggest changes for you in having the show switch networks?
What’s different for me is I was a series regular before and now I’m just a reoccurring character on the show. We did 13 episodes and I’m just contracted to do six. Another change is that we’re shooting in Atlanta and that’s different. [The Game was previously filmed in Los Angeles.]
Wow, that’s really disappointing. Did the powers that be tell you why they reduced your role?
I wasn’t happy about it, I wanted to do all the episodes but I think it was a financial thing. So I think the biggest difference for me between working for CW and BET is on the CW I made more money [laughs]. But the reason I came back to do the show is that I love the show. And I love, love the people that I work with so even though it came down to [my reduced role] I had to be supportive of the rest of the cast. I know me not showing up would affect a lot of storylines differently so I decided to be a team player anyway.
Are there any other changes in having The Game going from a network to a basic cable channel?
We’re shooting thirteen episodes at one time. So we’ll be finished with shooting thirteen episodes in a month and a half. The first day of my shooting day I did a scene from the last episode. Then after lunch you might be shooting a scene from the first episode. So that was really challenging to keep up with where you are in the story from hour to hour.
Whoa. Really? Most dramas and sitcoms take several months to shoot a whole season worth of shows.
It was challenging and weird doing it this way. Because when I was shooting an episode a week I had a whole week to absorb what my character was going thru. And I would get very connected to the character, because I’d be living it. But now it’s like, ‘Oh now I’m doing the very end of the season with all this dramatic stuff going on but we haven’t done all the scenes prior so I don’t really know where I’m at.’ Or I’m mentioning a character, like Tasha’s boyfriend and I haven’t even met the actor who plays him yet. I don’t even know who he is and I’m already talking about him. But I told myself, I’ll just do the best I can. That’s all you can do—the best you can under these circumstances.
Because of your work in The Game and the black films you’ve appeared in, I hear your co-workers on the The Game say you have an inner black girl…
[Laughs] I have people come up to me and ask you really date black men don’t you and I say I do [Daniel is currently dating Keenan Ivory Wayans] and they say I can tell. And my cast members always say, ‘Oh Brittany is black, she is a sister.’ It’s so hilarious. I always end up working on African American productions. I worked with the Wayans on two movies [White Chicks and Little Man, I did The Game for a few years, and when I did Skyline Donald Faison is my boyfriend. It happens so many times.
As a white actress, how does working on black films or TV shows compare with working on white ones?
My black acting costars have so much more fun working on set than the white actors I’ve worked with. We laugh all the time. I’m not saying all white people are boring but I find black people have a certain freedom. It’s so much fun and it’s not so serious which I love.
What else are you working on? And other than Skyline and The Game where can we see you next?
I created and produce the reality show, The Ruby Show on The Style Network. Ruby Gettinger is one of my best girlfriends and used to weigh like 700 lbs, but she’s lost a lot of weight. Our fourth season is going to be premiering very soon I’m mostly behind the scenes more than anything but I’ll be making a couple of appearances on the show. It’s the most amazing thing that we’ve been able to make The Ruby Show and that she been able to lose so much weight and inspire so many people. It’s awesome and I’m really proud of her.