Hosea Chanchez, <EM>The Game</EM> Hosea Chanchez, The Game

Playing NFL quarterback Malik Wright on the CW's The Game (Mondays at 9:30 pm/ET) is not exactly such a terrible gig. But aside from suiting up and feeling like the real deal, Hosea Chanchez says there's a lot more to this new show. TVGuide.com got the inside scoop on his character's busy love life, the "likable" cast, and the freshman laffer's recent switch to Monday nights.

TVGuide.com: How did you get involved in The Game?
Hosea Chanchez: I had heard that Kelsey Grammer and Mara Brok Akil were doing a new series. I had read a couple of scripts and was even up for another show when I came across this pilot. I just felt that I was right for the part.

TVGuide.com: What interested you in the script?
Chanchez: It had a lot of heart to it. It was a different perspective. It was built around these relationships between these three women and three guys, so I felt it was something fresh and new and something exciting that I could possibly be doing for a while.

TVGuide.com: The show really concentrates on the behind-the-scenes of professional football, and how the girlfriends and wives of the players deal with that lifestyle. Will Malik have a girlfriend?
Chanchez: Oh, he has many. He's actually the ladies man, and I don't think he'll have a girlfriend for a long time.

TVGuide.com: Wendy Raquel Robinson plays your "mommager" on the show. What's the dynamic like between your characters?
Chanchez: We are like brother and sister. We fight to the death but love each other, listen to each other's opinions, and respect each other. [We] bump heads. She had me when she was 15 and my character is 24 now, so [we] tend to not always agree on everything.

TVGuide.com: Do Malik's relationships affect his relationship with his mom?
Chanchez: Oh, yeah. She's all up in the mix. She doesn't know when to put the mom hat down or put the manager hat down, so the two kind of get crossed and it makes for a very interesting relationship. Sometimes he oversteps his boundaries talking to her or treating her like a manager, but she's still his mom.

TVGuide.com: What kind of preparation did you do for this role?
Chanchez: I did a lot of studying of some of the guys who I felt were similar to my character  Donovan McNabb, Deion Sanders, Terrell Owens  only because I knew a little bit about their story. I knew that Terrell was from the South and he was a grandma/mama's boy.

TVGuide.com: Did you play football when you were younger?
Chanchez: No, I didn't. My grandparents didn't believe in contact sports. I played basketball and softball.

TVGuide.com: So this must be fun, then.
Chanchez: It is fun to play, because I've always wondered what football is like. As it would be now; my little brother plays football.

TVGuide.com: I'm sure he loves that you're on the show.
Chanchez: Yeah, he does. He's actually a quarterback at 15, so he's like the star around school, it's so funny. His friends watch the show and he watches the show, so he's really excited about it.

TVGuide.com: How do you feel about the time slot switch, from Sunday to Monday?
Chanchez: I feel really excited about it. I think Girlfriends has a great audience on Mondays [where it aired on UPN]. But I don't really know anything about the technicality about the numbers for networks and stuff like that.

TVGuide.com: What was the reasoning behind the move?
Chanchez: They did not give me a reason why, but once again, I do try to stay far away from particulars and just focus on my work as much as possible. But I think it's a great move, because like I said, Girlfriends and [All of Us] already had an audience on Monday. It could be a really good night for us.

TVGuide.com: Like a lot of aspiring actors, you came to L.A. with not much to start off with. What kept you going?
Chanchez: The only thing that kept me going was having faith. My grandparents and my family always supported me in whatever I did. My mom, my grandmother, my grandfather always taught me that anything that you want to do is worth working hard for.

TVGuide.com: You've guest-starred on a variety of TV shows. How is it working on a set like The Shield or NCIS, and then coming to do The Game?
Chanchez: For me, it's a completely different experience because this is my show, this is our product. When you're guest-starring on somebody else's show, you are a part of the show guest stars are extremely invaluable to every show but you don't really get to experience the responsibility of being a regular and having an audience and having to mold and shape this one character into who they eventually will be, whether it be for a year, five years, or 10. I've never really had the time to develop one character for an extensive amount of time and have it contribute so much to the light of what was created.

TVGuide.com: It must be different and refreshing, I would imagine, to go to the set everyday and have a family in the cast.
Chanchez: I consider myself a very, very fortunate actor because Tia Mowry, Coby Bell, Brittany Daniel, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Pooch [Hall] are all a group of people who live very free and they are extremely likable people so we are all pretty much just one big family. We literally tell ourselves, "How did they know that we fit so well together?" Our chemistry off screen is just as dynamic, if not more, than it is on screen.

TVGuide.com: That must be fun.
Chanchez: It is so fortunate to get to work and love every person that you work with, every step of the way, and you feel so safe. A lot of times as actors you don't feel so safe, but we go to work everyday open and excited to this experience. These veterans who have been doing this for a while are very, very, very giving and that's what I love most about this. They're not jaded. They're not jaded, not one person.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.