The Game alum Pooch Hall has found a new home on Showtime’s tough-guy drama Ray Donovan. Hall, 39, plays Daryll, Ray’s (Live Schreiber) younger brother and Mickey’s (Jon Voight) illegitimate son from an affair. Things turn tragic for Daryll as he gets a better grip of his father’s affairs.
When Hall isn’t on set or getting in shape for his role as TV’s newest hunky boxer, he’s collecting action figures and planing romantic date nights with his wife. ESSENCE.com caught up with Hall to talk about his guilty pleasures, hidden talents, obsessions and if he still keeps in touch with his former Game co-stars.
1. He loves action figures
POOCH HALL: I like to buy toys. They make these new figures from this brand called Hot Toys from Japan. They make figures that look almost human. They’re expensive and ever since I’ve been in Hollywood that’s been a guilty pleasure of mine. I just bought the Al Pacino Carlito’s Way figure and that ran me like $250, but it looked like they just took Al Pacino and stuck him in the box. My dream is to one day get an action figure made of myself because when you get an action figure, then you know you’re doing it!
2. Where’d he get that name?
HALL: It’s a nickname. I’ve been Pooch since I was in my mom’s pooch. My father is one of those guys who never gets anyone’s name right and so the next door neighbor was always calling me Pooky when I was in my mom’s stomach. So my dad started saying Poochy. So it’s actually Poochy, but I go by Pooch.
3. He’s always “high off life”
HALL: What a lot of people don’t understand about Pooch Hall is I’ve seen a lot of dark times in my life. I really appreciate where my life is and what I’ve accomplished. Also, my oldest daughter is 15, handicapped, in a wheel chair and can’t walk or talk, but she’s still the happiest girl in the world. She doesn’t know hate, she doesn’t know race, she doesn’t know judgement. She just knows love and fun. I took a lesson from her.
4. He no longer watches The Game
HALL: I don’t watch The Game. I keep in touch with Barry Floyd (Tee Tee), Jigga (Bibbs), Gabrielle Dennis (Janay), P.J. Byrne (Irv), Kenny Smith (writer/executive producer), Harold Rossi (writer/producer) and Bumper Robinson (Juvon). I run into Jay Ellis every now and then, he’s a cool cat. I’m hoping to do a project with Lauren London. I’m a big fan of Lauren London and Megan Good. So those are the people I mess with.
5. What keeps him up at night
HALL: Cartoons and my sugar cravings. I end up watching TV and I find myself munching on snacks.
6. The perfect date night with his wife involves movies and dancing
HALL: We tend to take in a movie at the crib or go to one of those theaters that have a bar. We’ll grab ourselves some wine. Or we’ll have a little dinner before the movie and maybe drive around and just see if we can take in a lounge. I love ’80s music, that’s why I love spending time in New York because there are a lot of lounges and DJs that can really cut it up with the ’80s. I like to dance.
7. Of course he’s got a hidden talent
HALL: I rap. I’m not talking about rapping where I can go battle Jadakiss. I’m talking about rapping for fun like if we were at a party and I’ll kick a cool little freestyle. I can also cook, sew and write. I’m very creative. There’s a film moving forward that I wrote with my writing partner Lee Davis. The feedback that we got from it has been ridiculous.
Ray Donovan airs on Showtime on Sundays at 10 p.m.