We’ve watched Malik Wright on The Game for six seasons and he is by far one of the most complex characters in the series (can we say substance abuse, various women, infidelity, and major stress on the field?). But Malik is polar opposite of Hosea Chanchez, the man portraying him on the hit TV show. Hosea has evolved into the man that he is hoping Malik will become. “I want him to take it the next level of growth as far as manhood is involved. I’m not the same man I was 9 years ago. Some shit you just don’t do anymore,” says Hosea.
Fortunately, the Alabama native has come to peace with his athletic, fame indulged alter ego. “I decided to accept him for who he is and just enjoy him,” he says. He plays his character so well that it’s hard to believe he was never a fan.
We sat down with the superstar to get details on everything we need to know about our favorite show—especially his relationship with the cast and his battle with portraying Malik. Flip the pages to find out how opposite the two are and what actors inspired Hosea to get into the game.
VIBE Vixen: How has everything been with the show this season?
Hosea Chanchez: Everything has been really good. This season was quite the change for us, so it just took a little getting used to. It’s also fun just being able to watch the show as a fan versus doing it.
Do you tune into the show with the rest of America?
I don’t watch on a weekly basis, but I do take time to catch up. I just saw it from the entire season at the end of May.
How do you feel about watching your character?
I’m usually at war with him; I’m screaming at the TV, I want [Malik] to grow up, I want him to have a better chance as a NFL baller. I want him to get his life together; I’m rooting for him. It’s so interesting when we step away from the show and shoot it; I actually forget what I’ve done because it’s so fast pace and it’s so much work involved. When I watch it [at home] I’m literally seeing it almost for the first time.
Do you like the way your character has developed throughout the season?
I like the way he’s developed throughout the years, but I’m ready for him to take it to the next level. I’m ready for him to go to the next place in his man hood. He’s in his 30’s now; he’s been in the league for quite some time. Men mature slower than women but at the same time in a 8 to 10 year gap you should see significant growth in a guy of this stature. He has small growth moments and natural progression, but I’m ready for him to turn over a complete new leaf about some of his ways.
More of a positive leaf?
Of course, his leaves have been very negative so far [laughs]. I’m ready for him to turn over positive leaves.
How are you compared to Malik?
This past season is the first time I really enjoyed playing him. I didn’t judge him—I decided to accept him for who he is and just enjoy him. Malik is the polar opposite of Hosea. We could not be any less alike; however, we both have single moms who had us at a really young age. Much like Tasha and Malik are best friends, me and my mom are best friends—we’re more like brother and sister than mother and son. We have that commonality, but other than that there’s really not that much in common between us.
What part of Malik’s career do you relate to the most?
Much like Malik I am absolutely confident in where I am and where I’m going in my career. That’s the one thing about him I admire. This cat doesn’t give a fuck who’s on the team, he’s going to do him regardless. Like me, I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do and be as big, bright, and successful as I’m entitled to be. I’m not going to hurt anyone along the way; I don’t have to take away anyone’s shine to be my best and Malik is the same.
I appreciate that Malik’s a team player. He’s going to shine, but he’s all about making sure the team is well taken care of. I’m all about the team and making sure the people around me are having a good time and that I’m giving my best so they can get their best.
How is it working with Wendy R. Robinson?
Wendy is the best, that’s my ace right there. At the end of the day, she’s going to deliver her work, she’s going to do it in her loving spirit and if you need to talk to her about some real life stuff outside of work, she’s there. I’ve said this from day one: she’s one of the most giving actresses I’ve ever worked with, not just giving as an actress but as a person.
Do you view her as a motherly figure in real life?
In real life she is much like my mom. Not like a mother to me, but she and my mom act alike. They’re both flamboyantly outgoing women who love to make people laugh. If you want to hang out with somebody, she’s the one you want to hang out with. There is never a dull moment [with her], trust me, ever.
Is she anything like her character in real life?
She’s just like Tasha Mack but softer. Tasha is a little rough around the edges, but Wendy is just as much fun.
Malik is known as a womanizer, how are you with the ladies?
For the past five years of my life [I’ve been trying] to label what I feel. I feel that I’m a really shy person—I literally have to make a conscious effort to be an extrovert. If you ever think I’m being extroverted at some point, there’s a manipulative effort on my part. It just doesn’t come natural to me; I’m trying to convince myself right now [laughs].
I would think that because you portray such a complex character on the show, in real life you wouldn’t be a shy person.
I love what I do because I get to be someone that’s not me. I enjoy the acting part of it all because the acting in itself is so intimate. Being an actor and doing the actual job is very intimate. Being an actor is not about meeting a bunch of people, it’s about doing a job.
Do you ever see yourself wanting to be more famous?
I plan to be much bigger. The Game is just the beginning. We’re going into our seventh season, so I’ve basically had the same job for nine years now. After the show is done, I plan to spread my wings into film. I don’t think I’m going to do another TV show any time soon, not saying I’m done completely, but I want to grow in the [film] world.
What kind of films would you want to do?
Every kind of film—anything that continues to stretch me as an artist and allow me to push boundaries for myself as an artist.
Are there any actors and actresses you want to work with before you throw in the towel?
[Laughs] Absolutely. Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, and Brad Pitt. Eddie Murphy would be a big dream for me. I will always aim towards making that dream a reality; Eddie is the dream for me.
Is Eddie Murphy the reason you got into acting?
He is the reason that I am an actor, amongst Martin Lawrence, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Will Smith. I grew up in Alabama; we didn’t go to the movies like everybody else. I was a TV guy; the reason I got into the business is because I wanted to be like the people I saw on TV. Every week I watched Eddie Murphy do his thing on Saturday Night Live when I was supposed to be in bed. I am definitely a product of Mr. Murphy. It’s going to happen, it just has to take time.
How has it been working with Jay Ellis and Lauren London?
Lauren London really surprised me as a person. She’s such a sensitive woman and so passionate, which I appreciate, but I think people feel like she’s this tough girl and she’s not [laughs]. Jay is just a cool dude, man. He’s just real chill. They came in and picked up the ball and ran with it.
How is it working without Pooch Hall?
It’s bittersweet in a way. You want to give the new players on the team an opportunity to shine without having to live in someone else’s shoes. I don’t know too much about Pooch’s situation but I guess hes made some choices as an artist that allows him to move on and transition. It makes it difficult in a way because you miss the way things used to be, but then it’s not difficult because you want the new people to shine and do their thing. My dream for the show is for it to live on past me. I hope that new people continue to come in and revive the show and give it a new prospective and opportunity.
Do you still keep in contact with Pooch and Tia?
I haven’t spoken to Pooch in a really long time. I see Tia more often than Pooch, but now that she has the baby and like 10 [different] shows it’s hard to catch up with her.
What will we see for the next half of the season from you?
I won’t tell you the next half but I’ll tell you what I hope for in the new season. I hope that Malik surprises everybody in the next season [season 7] not the other half of this season . I hope he really does something mind blowing.
Tune in tomorrow (July 2) at 10pm for The Game premiere.