Omar Benson Miller Talks New Show ‘Ballers’

HBO’s new series “Ballers” centers around a group of football players and their families, friends, and handlers.

Omar Benson Miller plays Charles Greane. Read what he had to say about it below:

Congrats on the show, how did you get involved?

I got a phone call from Stephen Levinson one of the producers on “Entourage” and several other films. He told me there was something that he wanted me to come check out. It was very interesting because I played basketball for a long time … and he had me in mind for this super top secret project that he was doing for HBO. They didn’t even want to announce that Dwayne was attached to it. The idea of sports plus Miami, the allure of that, how could you not.

Tell us about your character.

My character I feel is the anti-cool to all of the cool that you see. He’s a bit less hip and is involved in the glamorous world of professional sports but he’s not “that guy.” I feel like it’s a big deal and he’s a great counterbalance to the other side of what’s going on. He’s like the voice of reason and people can identify with him the most perhaps because he’s lives a closer to a normal life than some of the other guys.

How did you immerse yourself in the world of football /prepare?

I actually did a little research and spoke to a lot of different professional athletes current and former and talked to them about some of the challenges of their existence beyond the headlines and it seems like a lot of the trivial day to day stuff is universal like dealing with a significant other or bills it’s just that everything is magnified.

What was it like working with Dule Hill?

Dule is the man, it was great to get to work with them. We worked together years ago on The West Wing when I first got to hollywood and it was great we became friends over the years from mutual friends.  I actually have a lot of scenes with Dule as the season goes on. He’s such a talented guy. He could give you drama, comedy, a tremendous tap dance lesson and he’s a pretty good baller. The camaraderie amongst the real life guys was key I feel into getting what we have on screen.

What’s your favorite football team? Player?

I’m a Raiders fan, and as far as my favorite player right now it’s probably Vernon Davis.

Why should fans tune in?

We’re dealing with football, fun, The Rock, and there’s a whole lot of positives to this. All those headlines you see all the time like on TMZ , this show fictionalizes the stories behind it. Hopefully it helps you relate to and identify some of the character types that people idolize so much in society.

Catch Omar Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.