"Ballers" star Jazmyn Simon wants former NFL star O.J. Simpson to stay the hell away from her HBO show, and the entire state of California, if possible.
“I hope it's never a plot line on the show. If the writers are reading this, do not make it a plot line," she told TooFab in an interview ahead of Sunday's Season 3 premiere. "I'm not surprised he got paroled because he was in jail for the theft, not for the murder of Nicole Brown. They can't keep him in jail for all those years because he can't get double jeopardy -- he has to get out because they already found him not guilty for the murders, even though in my opinion, he killed those people. And because of that I hope they never give him any air time on 'Ballers.'”
The comedy-drama, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, peels back the layers of fame, fortune and luxury in the lives of former and current (fictional) football players, revealing lifestyles filled with violence, infidelity and depression. And with Simpson's past as a star athlete, he could fit right in -- but Simon, who plays the supportive wife of ex-NFL star Charles Greane (Omar Miller), obviously disagrees.
“I don't even care enough about O.J. to worry about what he should do with his time," the actress told TooFab. "I mean, I was traveling back from Houston yesterday since we had an event there for the Season 3 premiere and that's when the news broke that he had got paroled and everyone was like, 'Maybe he has to stay in Vegas' and I'm like, 'Don't send him back to California, just keep him there.'”
“Enough time and conversation has been spent on O.J. Everybody move on," she added. "It's kind of like when you don't like something, you continue to talk about it, even though you don't like it and I feel like we should just not talk about it. Like, he's out, just please don't kill anybody else, O.J. Just go do your thing.”
Well, with that being said, let's move on to talk about Season 3 of the hit show, how the writer's room keeps it real, and of course, The Rock.
Your character is the most amazing wife. Why do you think a support system is important, especially when it comes to being an athlete?
If you substitute athlete with any other profession, you're still going to need a support system. So if it was a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, I mean teachers need support when they've been dealing with kids for eight hours. They need a husband or a wife at home to support them and it's no different with professional athletes. I feel like the way I approach Julie as a character is that she loves her husband and her husband does blank. And you can fill in blank with anything and in this case he's a retired football player. But she loves him regardless of that and I think that's what makes her such an amazing wife.
Did you know any WAGS when you started this show? And did you talk to any to prepare for the role?
I didn't need to, because if I was playing a WAG or basketball wives, you know from those reality TV shows, then I would have reached out and been like, 'Okay, how are you guys doing it?' But I wanted to be the opposite of the stereotypical football wife, because when you do think of one, you're thinking of gold diggers and wearing make up and lashes to the ten and the latest Chanel bag, and you're just thinking that there's a very negative adjective associated with these wives and that's not what I wanted her to be.
"Ballers" glorifies a luxurious football lifestyle that most people probably can't relate to. How were you able to bring the real-life side of that lifestyle to the show?
The great thing is the writers do a phenomenal job of bringing actual football players into the writing room. Rashard Mendenhall is a staff writer on the show, and I think when you have people who have actually lived it in the room, it makes it just authentic. It makes it real. There are a lot of aspects of the show that people can not relate to, I mean most people cannot relate to getting a $12 million contract and then blowing it in a couple of years, like most people $12 million would last a lifetime. But there is a redeeming quality in all of the characters that people can relate to.
This is a male-heavy show that touches on lots of things like cheating, hoes and groupies. How do you think "Ballers" portrays women in this light?
It's funny, because there was a bit on "2 Broke Girls" when they were like, you know, "They treat women worse than they do on HBO's 'Ballers.'" But in reality it is a male-dominated show and a lot of what is happening is 100 percent factual. There's a lot of women who are with these guys for money and for fame and for fancy things, but I can say there hasn't been one storyline that has attempted to portray a woman negatively.
I feel like they have done a really good job at making Julie a really strong woman that is grounded and loves her husband, and she's not a cheater, so again it's just a fine line of how we're going to portray the show. In reality, the facts are that women are like that. You know, the groupies are real. These football players can show up to the hotel when they're playing an out of town team and there are women in the lobby waiting for them. That is a fact. When they go out on boats, women are there eager to take their shirts off, eager to take photos with these football players and they do do that, but I don't think they do that in a negative way or degrade women at all, but it is entertainment, so every once in a while you do have to show a little bit of skin and unfortunately, the women have more appealing skin to show.
How has your experience been working with The Rock? What is something that you learned about him on set that the world may not know?
Dwayne is amazing. I can't say this enough and I know one day people will one day tire of hearing it, but Dwayne is just a good dude. He sets the tone for our show. In this business it's easy to get a big head, and when we go to work we ask for something and three seconds later we get it, but with Dwayne he's such a big star and he's so humble that he keeps the rest of us very grounded. I mean he drives himself to work in his pick up truck. He hops out of the car with Under Armor on some kind of flip flops because you can't take the Polynesian out of a man, but he's just so humble, gracious and funny and I hate to this, normal. He's just very normal, it's great. And I do have the upmost respect for that guy.
He's also a really good dancer! Like who knew? You knew he could sing because of "Moana," but he can also dance. So surprise! He can dance! His mom, who is the best, may or may not have shown me some videos of him doing some Polynesian dances.