Exclusive Interview: Donovan Carter On How Ballers Reflects Real Life

Ballers is one of the hottest shows on TV right now. The HBO series starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson follows the life of a former player turned agent representing a hothead player and another star who can’t seem to handle his money. Entering its third season, Ballers is actually meant for hardcore football fans along with casual viewers. The show strives to present the lives of these footballers as realistically as possible.

For those that haven’t caught the show, Ballers follows the life of Spencer Strasmore (The Rock), a former football player who is starting his new career as a financial manager for NFL stars by seeking out his old friends to build his clientele.

One such star is Vernon Littlefield, an NFL rookie who is great on the field, but horrible with cash, portrayed by Donovan Carter. It’s a character Carter could really sink his teeth into after dedicating his whole life to football - until he was cut by the Oakland Raiders during training camp. Much like Littlefield, Carter had aspirations of taking care of his parents with a lucrative football paycheck, and even pay back his parents for all the sacrifices they made to help him in his life.


Despite that, Carter was forced to make a sudden career change, and that’s when he took up acting. He seemed tailor-made for the role of Littlefield, making it easy for him to transition from football player to actor. To ensure the performance is authentic, Carter draws from his personal experiences as an athlete along with feedback from current players.

Via HBO.com

Other than Littlefield, another character on the show that resonates with Carter is Charles (Omar Benson), a former athlete forced to transition to a new career.

“With Omar Benson Miller’s character Charles, you get to see his transition from leaving the game. It was kind of similar to when I left the game and I have to figure out what I'm going to do” says Carter, revealing that at that point in his life, he actually felt free as he was able to choose what he would do next.

Ultimately, that led him to Ballers where he found himself on set with Dwayne Johnson. Being a former football player and wrestler, The Rock brings a flair for entertainment to a world that can be a bit boring (finances). But NFL players, much like wrestlers, are personalities, at least in front of the camera, but behind the scenes, they’re just normal people making a lot of money.

“[Ballers] shows you that these players are normal people like everyone else, they just make a lot of money and whatever they do, they are underneath this microscope and [their actions] get blown out of proportion sometimes,” says Carter. “People do stuff every day, but you don’t see it everywhere on Instagram, Twitter, or streaming online.”

Ballers was just picked up for a fourth season, and Ballers Season 3 is now available on Digital Download. 


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