One-on-One with Survivor’s Remorse Star
The comedy is smart and gives outsiders behind-the-scene passes to the personal lives of athletes. In this case, the rookie star is basketball player, Cam Calloway. Adjusting to the life of the “come-up”, he has his right-hand man, cousin, manager and adviser, Reggie Vaughn to help navigate the transition – oh yeah, his fam is along for the ride, too.
Gearing up for the season finale on Saturday, JET spoke to RonReaco Lee, who has the role of Reggie on lock and gained insight on where the show is headed and the true struggle of learning “rich people instincts when you grew up poor.”
Our conversation below!
JET: Last week’s episode dealt heavily with endorsements and making the right decisions, without giving too much away, where does episode “Six”, the season finale, take us and what is the possible cliffhanger?
RonReaco: Cam has to make a decision and he does. Really what we’re dealing with in the next episode is, is it the right decision? Reggie really wants him to consider all options. Cam’s being advised by Reggie and we’ll see what decision he makes. It’s an interesting one. I don’t know if it’s one people would see coming, but, nonetheless you make your decision and we’re going to have to live with the results of that.
We also have a blast from the past. We kind of get a look at the boys’ friendship. I think a lot of the season has dealt with a working relationship – Reggie trying to get Cam on a budget, endorsement deals etc…But as a friend, in the beginning episode we kind of dealt with some things from their hometown.
JET: What has been the most enjoyable and the most challenging about Survivor’s Remorse and building your character?
RonReaco: Nick Young, they call him Swaggy P, from the Lakers posted a video and tagged me on Instagram from I think episode 105 and I watched it and was like ‘Oh, Wow, I get now, Swaggy P is a fan of the show and for a real deal NBA Baller to look at this show, and he had a great caption for it, to paraphrase he was basically saying that with big dreams, come big challenges. Coming from somebody big in the NBA like that puts a big smile on my face and validates that we’re doing an authentic job.
JET: We see an amazing dynamic between Reggie and Cam and how Reggie advises him, but what are some things that Reggie learns from Cam?
RonReaco: I think we’ll kind of see it in the next episode. I think probably the biggest thing is that Cam is going to hold Reggie accountable for any and all things. This role of Reggie Vaughn, he has been the guy that always has to see 4-5 steps in the future. Reggie is learning that he has to step back and allow Cam to make some decisions – good or bad, right or wrong. Reggie has to allow Cam to make those decisions and then we live with the aftermath. And Reggie has to realize that he can’t control everything. He has to fall back and allow Cam to do Cam. It’s a great dynamic and I think it’ll be great for the lifeline of the show.
JET: What is Reggie’s dream and ambition? Is he living it?
RonReaco: With Reggie, the main thing is he definitely doesn’t want this family to be broke again. He wants to see this family win and he doesn’t want Cam to be interviewed 5-10 years after he leaves the league and he’s bankrupt. As a result, that’s the motivating thing for Reggie – to make sure that this family leaves a legacy. The Calloway’s leave this earth with something much more that they came with. He’s determined and hell-bent on making that happen. He has his hands full, believe that.
JET: Is there ever hesitation when story lines in the show take on real life situations such as the episode where Tichina Arnold’s character spoke about spanking Cam when he was a child – that could relate to the Adrian Peterson situation? What are the pre- and post discussions like when preparing to tape the scenes and addressing the possible aftermath?
RonReaco: Oddly, we shot that episode in the summer and the whole thing with Adrian Peterson dropped well after, so that was just, man ironic, push of fate that we would be doing a show that dealt with it. Are there some themes in this show that I read and kind of go ‘oooh’? Yeah!
Actually for me, Survivor’s Remorse is refreshing because I’m involved with this work that really makes people talk. One of the things that I’ve accepted is that not everybody is going to like every job that I do and this is one of those jobs that when people approach me or they have something to say about something that happened in the show, first of all, it’s not RonReaco, it’s a guy named Reggie Vaughn that a guy named Malcolm ‘OMalley created. I knew after I took this job, especially when we got into some deeper scripts like episodes three and four, I knew that I was going to be confronted with things.
One of the things that I love and think the writers are committed to showing is that the boys have to grow. If we started this show with everybody saying what they’re supposed to say then it’s really not fun – it’s not entertaining.
JET: Understanding the responsibility and reality of a dollar and dime is a deep theme throughout Survivor’s Remorse. How is everyone learning to adjust and understand how to handle the dollar in a high-profile life situation now?
RonReaco: I think we’re seeing everyone starting to make the transition. We’re still adjusting and there’s still going to be mistakes. I have no clue where these characters are going the next season, but the main thing I think everybody has to understand is they’re not there yet. I think the understanding for all the characters has to be like, ‘man, it’s still new. We’re going to make mistakes. Bear with us.” And I think that’s where we’ll continue to keep that line for comedy because that’s where the true funny in this show lies. We have to act differently now. I think it’s something that’s going to be like man, they can take us out of the streets of Dorchester, Boston, but they can’t take Boston out of us!
Tune-in to the season finale of Survivor’s Remorse, Saturday, 9pm ET/PT on Starz.