Dying for some new tunes? Play On Entertainment helps you:After going undrafted, Carter received a mini-camp invite from the Raiders, but it never materialized into a long-term deal. Sure, Carter had lined up across from some of the most menacing offensive linemen in the country, but facing life without ball was proving to be the battle of a lifetime. He was being stretched like never before, and answers to the age-old question, ‘What’s next?’ were fleeting, if present at all.”When I graduated, everything was on me. I didn’t have anybody to rely but myself,” Carter said. “So, that was an adjustment. I really didn’t know what to do. I definitely was down on myself a little bit, but knew whatever I did, it wasn’t gonna be in the house. So, I was like, ‘Man, I get up and figure out what’s in this world.”
Bruins defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Angus McClure was the one who the put the acting bug in Carter’s ear. He put him in touch with Emmy-award winner Mark Harmon, a former UCLA quarterback. Still, when he’d heard news of the audition for Ballers, Carter wasn’t going to go. Forget a reel. He’d never taken an acting class a day in his life. Who’d cast him for a show on HBO? But after a little prodding from his father, he figured he didn’t have anything to lose.
“I just went for it, Carter said. “Sometimes, you just have to go for things in life and just put it in God’s hands and see where it takes you.”
He won the room, and eventually, he won the role, honing his newfound craft with the same tenacity he tackled quarterbacks and running backs with all his life. As much as he’s showing as a budding thespian, having appeared in all 20 of the show’s episodes thus far, he’s still growing as he learns everything from technique to terminology. Carter said he studies his lines the same way he studied plays. When he needs help, he’s not ashamed to ask for it. Just like a player has to be able to translate what he’s seen in the film room to the field, the proof is in the execution when it comes to acting.
“The easy part is memorizing lines,” he said. “Anybody can memorize things. It’s about bringing those lines to life.”
Carter’s moment of truth on the “Ballers” set, came while they were filming the first episode after the pilot. A huge wrestling fan growing up, he froze in the middle of one of the episode’s opening scenes, acting opposite Johnson, one of his childhood idols. “I was just nervous. I walked away. I was like, ‘Cut’, I need a little air,” Carter said. He (Johnson) came by me. He was like, ‘Man, just do what you do. Everybody believes in you. You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think you could do it. After that, after he gave me some uplift. I was like, ‘Alright man I got this. If this dude can believe in me, I can believe in myself at the end of the day.”
Carter said viewers can expect to see a different side of professional football in the show’s third season, and, of course, more parties, beautiful women and cars, “the baller lifestyle” as he put it. Typically, flanked by his best friend and confidant Reggie, played by London Brown, Littlefield, fresh off signing a new contract that includes a $40-plus million signing bonus with Dallas, is coming into his own and will be forced to make more autonomous adult decisions as he battles an injury that could jeopardize his first season in Big D.
The maturation of his character on screen and Carter’s real life off it mirror each other in some ways.
“I can relate to Vern. I just try to do my best to learn from Vern and his mistakes and apply them to my life,” Carter said. “I’m young too. I have a little bit of success, meeting different people. It’s my first job. So, I’m saving a little money. The same as Vern, just learning through life.”