Whenever Ballers star Rob Corddry is approached by a fan, he generally knows what they’re going to ask him about based on several profiles he developed over the years.
“If they’re 60 to 70-year-old Alan Alda types with NPR tote bags and round eyeglasses, they’re usually asking about The Daily Show. But Ballers is tougher,” he laughs. “The people who most often come up to me on the street and say something about Ballers are women, which surprised me at first. It didn’t strike me as a show that females would like.”
Rob Corddry talks Ballers, the Rock
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The Hot Tub Time Machine actor doesn’t possess the numbers to prove this, but he’s pretty sure he knows why all these women watch the program. “I think the Rock is very appealing to women. He’s appealing to everyone,” says Corddry, “but I imagine the women like him very much as well.”
For the past three seasons, Corddry and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have played sports financial consultants Joe Krutel and Spencer Strasmore in Entourage and Boardwalk Empire alum Stephen Levinson’s Ballers. In season four, which premieres this Sunday on HBO, the pair attempts to recuperate season three’s losses by delving into the world of extreme sports.
Throughout the series, Spencer and Joe have had what Corddry describes as a “push and pull” relationship, professionally and otherwise. Sometimes they’re on the same page, sometimes not. Now that they’re trying to come out on top this season, the partners are working together as uniformly as possible. As the comedy actor notes, he prefers it this way for a particular reason.
“I like acting with Dwayne. I like hanging out with him. He’s fun to be on set with,” he explains. “If our characters are at odds, that usually means I’m going to have scenes with somebody else and our storylines will veer away from each other. So if I had choose one path, I like it when we’re a team working together rather than not.”
Joe and Spencer’s story is one of many aspects of Ballers that Corddry, who considers himself an avid football fan, appreciates. He also acknowledges the depths Levinson and the writers will go to infuse the sports-heavy show with such human elements. Crunching numbers doesn’t hold his interest, even when Ballers fans who are interested in such details approach him.
“They want to talk stats,” he says. “I’m a big, big football fan, but I don’t remember who scored the most points on the ground for the Rams. I’m more into the drama and romance of a football game. The poetry of it. I’ve actually had a couple of sports financial managers contact me on Twitter, offering their consulting services. You know what? I think I know enough. What we’re doing, in terms of the numbers, isn’t brain surgery.”
“Numbers and stats and weird obscure things do not a good story make,” Corddry adds with a laugh. Even so, he recognizes the importance of the subject material to the core of the Ballers story, as well as the effect it has had on his wife’s understanding of sports.
“My wife, who can’t stand sports, was watching a football game with me, and the guy did a flip over the endzone,” he recalls. “Just from having watched Ballers, and what she absorbed from it, my wife went, ‘You’re going to do a flip in the endzone? Come on, you’re making 10 over 7!’ And I just fell more in love with her at that moment.”
Ballers season 4 premieres Sunday, Aug. 12, at 10 p.m. on HBO.