Hosea Sanchez, star of cable's #1 hit show, was recently in town to speak at Howard University. Niteside caught up with him to discuss the show and his amazing fans.
What was it like the first moment you heard BET was officially picking up "The Game"? Did you believe it?
You know what, I really didn't believe it. There was an ongoing rumor since the show was canceled that another network was going to pick it up, but it was just really hard to believe. But BET picking us up was more exciting than when we were initially picked up by CW. It meant more, because we knew this time around we were entering into a situation where people fully appreciated and respected what we do.
How integral have your fans been to your career and to the show?
Really and truly, we owe them everything. It's not just because they watch the show, but they fought to get us back and keep us on. They petitioned to keep the show on air, to get BET to pick us up and they're the sole reason we are back.
There were a lot of people who complained that the show has changed so much and some aren't feeling the new storylines. How do you feel about the latest season?
Well, you have to remember that you're looking at the characters two years later. Just like in real life, things don't stay the same. Also, you want the characters to grow and experience new things. That's life and great writing.
Your character, Malik, has certainly changed a lot. Are you feeling it?
I don't care what he does as long as he's not dead! In all seriousness, I think Malik has grown a lot and I'm sure you'll see more of that in the season to come.
"The Game" is one of the only successful fully black-casted shows on television. Why do you think that is?
I think back in the day, like during the '80s and '90s, there were a lot more people advocating for black series, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby. Leaders today just seem to be less vocal than they were back then. It's now the younger generation's responsibility to make people aware and I think "Game" fans are great examples of that culture movement.
Speaking of a movement, your foundation, Watch Me Win, is very inspiring. Why'd you start it?
I wanted to inspire others to be the best they can be. The foundation helps kids overcome social and economic roadblocks in their lives. To me, the foundation is really about reaching back and teaching our youth.
Who inspires you?
My grandfather. [When I was] growing up, he taught me the value of hard work. Also Oprah, Will Smith and President Obama, just to name a few.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want people to remember me for giving back to my community and enlightening, empowering and inspiring others.