VH1: Did your Southern New England Golden Glove-winning boxing past make playing Daryll the right thing for you at this time in your career?
PH: You’re going to get what’s for you, and I think this was made for me. They didn’t even know I could box. I said I’d give it a shot, but this is one of those big Hollywood shows I’d love to be a part of and I know how it works. I’ve been in this industry for a while now where I’ve been told I’m the guy, then it goes to the big name. For whatever reason they saw something in me.
VH1: So what have you learned working on Ray with esteemed actors Liev Schreiber and Oscar-winning Jon Voight playing your half-brother and father?
PH: I’m learning a whole new preparation (process), focus and how to make a great scene greater. I call [Ray Donovan] the 1992 U.S.A Olympic Basketball “Dream Team” of Hollywood casting. Working on The Game was like being on an awesome college team with amazing program that turned me into a number one college recruit. No disrespect to The Game, but I’m in the big leagues now. There are no harder workers or leaders than Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Competitively, I just want to bring my A-game. They make you better.
VH1: Is there real camaraderie among the cast?
PH: The chemistry translates over to the screen. We all have a relationship where we can trust each other and volley off each other. We’re all friends. There is no Hollywood bullshit. It’s real people. Liev, Eddie [Marsan] and I all work out together. We all hang out and go to each other’s homes. We just had a great cookout over Jon Voight’s house. Jon treats me like a son outside of the show, so I have an off-screen fatherly respect for him.
VH1: Your relationships with Jon and Liev sound nothing like the estranged characters you play. Where do you see Daryll’s relationships with the Donovan family going, especially with Mickey and Ray, next season?
PH: [Daryll] is a little naïve, but I think it doesn’t matter because he wants to be acknowledged. He I loves his father (Mickey Donovan) and his brothers. The relationship with [half-brothers] Bunchy and Terry seemed to have come a lot easier than with Ray. Still, Daryll was almost validated by Ray at the end of last week. Next season, not to get ahead of myself, I think I see us building on that relationship to where I’m caught in the middle between Ray and Mickey. It’s like who do you trust? Is Ray really for me, or is he trying to set me up as a patsy because I’m not entirely blood. I’m just hoping I don’t get killed off.
VH1: Speaking of murder, things are getting brutal as we head into Sunday’s finale. Anything we should prepare for?
PH: Brace yourselves because some people are going to die! You know it’s not me because I’m talking about Season 2. I passed!
Catch more Pooch Hall and the rest of the Ray Donovan cast this Sunday on Showtime as they wrap up season one with “Same Exactly” at 10 p.m. ET. Season two production kicks off January 2014.