How has Pooch Hall filled his time during the coronavirus pandemic? By writing, working on a new trivia app and closing his deal for the upcoming Ray Donovan movie.
In a recent interview via Zoom, Hall talked about his character Daryll Donovan on Showtime series Ray Donovan, his new movie Cherry, and his side gig as a host for the WinQuik trivia platform.
After playing Daryll for seven seasons on Ray Donovan, Hall said he was just as surprised as fans when the series was canceled in February 2020.
“I feel like there was so much more story to tell, and even with myself and my character, I was excited to see what was next,” he said.
Liev Schreiber leads the cast of the series. Jon Voight plays his troubled father Mickey, with Hall portraying Mickey’s illegitimate son Daryll. Dash Mihok, Eddie Marsan, and Kerris Dorsey round out the main cast.
Asked if he would be in the upcoming Ray Donovan film, Hall said he is “definitely” involved in the project.
“One thousand percent, I mean, you can’t kill off Black Irish!” he said with a laugh.
“As a matter of fact, my deal closed like a week ago. I’m happy to be a part of the Ray Donovan continuation of season 7… because I had a breakout season in season 7,” Hall noted. “It was really nice to see Daryll’s side, and to see a little bit more of Daryll’s world, and to see some faces of color. It’s always great working alongside Ms. Sheryl Lee Ralph, who plays my mother on the show.”
[Watch the interview below]
The actor praised loyal fans for lobbying Showtime to continue the story of the dysfunctional Donovan family with a film.
“I think it was a cancellation that no one wanted to do or we all didn’t see,” he said. “The fans are a huge part of us coming back. And us doing a movie is a big deal.”
Ray Donovan centers on a Hollywood “fixer” who arranges bribes and payoffs to help his wealthy clients. The hit series was originally shot in Los Angeles, but later moved to New York.
Hall talked about the challenges of shooting in New York.
“It’s always unpredictable, from weather, to just the things that go on in New York. You can’t account for weather. You can’t account for if all of a sudden there is construction or something that happens, something like a pipe blows or something where you can’t predict that stuff and you’ve got to work around it,” he said. “Showtime did what they could to make sure we stayed on schedule. But sometimes that would mess with a lot of the actors as far as their schedules and health, and trying to make sure that they’re ready for the next day or even the following day.”
In a Feb. 24 Instagram post, Showtime confirmed Ray Donovan is coming to the big screen, but the premium cable network offered few details about the cast or script.
According to industry website Collider, Schreiber is co-writing and executive producing the film. Series co-executive producer and director, David Hollander, is on board to direct, executive produce and co-write alongside Schreiber. Mark Gordon, Bryan Zuriff and Lou Fusaro will also be executive producing. Production is expected to begin in New York later this year.
As he waits to begin shooting the film, Hall has been spending his time in quarantine working on WinQuik. The actor, who landed his breakout role on the Mara Brock Akil comedy series The Game, is a host on the gaming platform and one of its investors.
“It’s a rapid trivia app that you can download free for your phone. And there’s three ways that you can win money 24 hours a day,” Hall said about the platform. “I host the live shows at 5:30 p.m. L.A. time, 8:30 p.m. East Coast time.”
“I’m like the Black version of Alex Trebek in a sense, God rest his soul,” he added.
The actor has also filled his time writing scripts.
“I wrote and we have financing for projects that I’m working on,” he explained. “I couldn’t wait for Hollywood to come calling and say, ‘hey, you know, we’re ready for you.’ I said, let me see what I’m not doing. What I’m not doing is, I’m not creating vehicles for myself, and other actors like myself.”
Hall currently appears in the new film Cherry from the Russo Brothers, who are known for their blockbuster Marvel movies. Spider-Man actor Tom Holland leads the cast of the military drama.
“I love comic books and science fiction. Working with the Russo brothers and Tom Holland is definitely a step closer to one of the things that I want to scratch off my bucket list,” Hall said.
Cherry was released in theaters on Feb. 26, and is now playing on Apple TV+. The film centers on an army medic, who returns home from the war in Iraq with PTSD.
“Based off of the country that we’re in, as far as mental health, and opiates, and drug abuse; we have to raise awareness to get people the help that they need,” Hall said.
You can catch more of Pooch Hall in Cherry and Ray Donovan. All seven seasons of the series are currently available on Hulu.