Locker-Room Secrets With the Men of ‘The Game’

Words by DeWayne Rogers, Images by Scott Hebert for Steed Media Service

While the rest of the country is split between their allegiance to sultry springtime and old man winter, the weatherman — seemingly daily — predicts that the temperature in Los Angeles will be “72 and sunny.” That’s just how things go down in L.A. For better or for worse, it’s a city where residents partake in a life devoid of any need for thermals and snow boots. Maybe that’s why today’s biggest and brightest stars consistently make their way to the City of Angels.

With Halle Berrys and Angelina Jolies casually strolling about, the sight of celebrities no longer prompts the natives to lift even an eyebrow. So when the men of BET’s hit series “The Game” arrived on the set for their exclusive photo shoot with rolling out, the workers bustling about didn’t seem particularly curious about Pooch Hall, Hosea Chanchez and Coby Bell.

That, however, was in direct contrast to the frenzy erupting online simultaneously.

From the second rolling out announced that these three actors would appear on the cover, our social media platforms were teetering on the brink of overload, thanks to a response that was reminiscent of New Kids on the Block’s fandom or, more recently, Beiber-mania. Make no mistake about it: Women love Hall, Chanchez and Bell, which undoubtedly contributed to their first season on BET being such a rousing success.

As the men struck their first pose for the camera, the easy camaraderie between the three was unmistakable. In fact, it was the kind of brotherhood often only witnessed in the locker room of a sports team. Here’s some exclusive locker-room talk — compliments of “The Game.”

How did you feel when you heard the news that the show was canceled on the CW?
Chanchez: The best way that I can explain it was that when the show was originally canceled, it felt like a death in my family. Because you go three years seeing these people for 18 hours a day sometimes, and doing a character that you love so much, and then all of a sudden, that all goes away. So, it really felt like a death to me. So, [the show] coming back feels like a rebirth. All of the emotional highs and lows that we have been through with this show, it really feels good to start this new chapter in this way and on this network.

Would you describe Hollywood as a big game?
Pooch: Oh, absolutely. I say it’s a game because only the strong will survive. But the key to that is to stay positive, train yourself and be the best that you can be. If you stay true to those three things, there’s no way that you can’t win this Hollywood game. I think a lot of people get it twisted as to what Hollywood is about. I think they see the Will Smiths and Denzels of the world and think that’s what you need to be successful. But if you are doing what you love, and your family is taken care of and you have food to eat, then I consider you to be a success.

Does your art ever conflict with your personal life?
Coby: I try my best to make sure that it doesn’t. I work very hard to keep the two separate. That’s the way that I prefer things. I live in Long Beach so I can stay away from the hoopla and keep my family life away from my career. Some people feel the need to cross the two, but I don’t believe it’s healthy. You have to have a life outside of Hollywood, if you plan on keeping your sanity.

How do you decide whom to trust in Hollywood and how do you handle working with someone you don’t trust?
Hosea: That’s a good question. After much trial and failure, I’ve learned how to determine who can and can’t be trusted. As far as the people that can’t be trusted … you just have to get the work done and not take things personally. It’s a
Coby: Hollywood is filled with people that can’t be trusted. You just have to recognize what it is and treat it like the business that it is.

Is there increased pressure on you to make “The Game” a success considering that it was canceled previously?
Hosea: There’s no pressure because the fans support us, and the network supports us. There was pressure at our last home because no matter how well we did, we just didn’t know if we would return. But now, there is a sense of comfort, so the pressure is removed.

How long do you see the show lasting on BET?
Coby: I think that the sky is the limit when it comes to this show. We were already three years in, but, now that we are with BET, it’s almost like the reset button was hit. So I believe that we can be around for another five to six years. And I say that because BET wants us, and we want to be with them.

The Roundtable with Pooch, Hosea and Coby
On the set of our photo shoot with the men of “The Game,” the atmosphere was more like a frat house, with jokes and horseplay aplenty. So, when our cover subjects were asked to analyze each other, the results were often hilarious. Check
it out:

The one who’s always late …
Coby says: That would be Pooch. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of total hours of my life that he’s wasted. His call time always needs to be three hours before everyone else.

The most stylish …
Pooch says: That’s Hosea all day. This dude has to be the most stylish person on earth. This is how you know that Hosea is stylish; before we go anywhere, I always call him to see what he has on to gauge what I’m going to wear. This guy stays clean.

The best sense of humor …
Hosea says: I would say Coby. I don’t think that people understand just how funny he is. He is absolutely hilarious, and always has something quick to say.

The best freestyle rapper …
Pooch says: That would be me. I slay all comers. I’m pretty nice with it.
Hosea says: So you think you can beat me? Don’t make me battle you right here, because I will.

The one with the corny side …
Coby says: That’s Pooch.
Hosea says: Pooch all day.
Pooch says: What is this, pick on Pooch day?

DeWayne Rogers
DeWayne Rogers

I write. I create. I take photos. In my spare time, I'm also a part-time super-hero. Go figure.

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