“You’re no one until you have enemies” is the tagline for Season 2 of HBO’s Ballers. And this time, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Spencer Strasmore and Rob Corddry’s Joe Krutel have a big one to deal with in the form of Andre, played by veteran actor Andy Garcia.
“He plays the biggest sports financial manager in Miami,” Corddry explains. “Spencer has a personal beef with him and wants to take him down. That’s basically the arc of the whole season. [But] I always had an admiration for this guy, no matter how sleazy he is. It becomes a huge thing. It’s not easy for the characters.” Not to mention the part where the additional competition comes as Spencer and Joe are trying to build the sports division of Anderson Financial from the ground up.
Corddry says Garcia fit in seamlessly with the Ballers cast. “He is Andy Garcia. He would mesh well at your family Christmas dinner. The guy can do anything.” Still, the natural chemistry between Johnson and Corddry anchors the show.
“I think that is because he really, really, really admires me. He looks up to me,” Corddry jokes about his larger-than-life cohort. “Initially, you don’t think of him as a person. You think of him as this star. That’s why everybody asks me what it’s like to work with him. I think it made my performance better because I was so excited about how cool he was and how easy it was going to be with him.”
Though a memorable moment from last season was watching Joe trash his office after Mr. Anderson fired him, one of Corddry’s favorite scenes to shoot this time around is of the verbal variety. “I have my Boiler Room/The Wolf of Wall Street/Glengarry Glen Ross motivational speech moment,” he says. “It’s a ‘Coffee’s for closers’ type of thing. That was really fun. It’s a sales-slash-financial trope that I’ve always loved. I loved working on that. So it was kind of like destroying the office again … only with words.”
As they deal with the new competitor, Joe and Spencer also have to manage their frequently troublesome clients. The Miami Dolphins’ season is gearing up and Ricky Jerret (John David Washington) is in a new frame of mind, coming off a string of bad luck and daddy issues. With a baby on the way, Charles Greane (Omar Benson Miller) is looking to make the transition back to the gridiron from the car lot. And Vernon (Donovan Carter) is basking in the glow of his lucrative contract in the NFL.
Corddry, who recently ended Childrens Hospital after seven seasons, says that when he returned to the Ballers set, he came to the realization that he has never had a character he could really develop and evolve. “That was neat,” he says. “It was a weird little adjustment. I think everybody fell into things a little bit easier for Season 2. It was more familiar. From what I’ve seen, it seems a little more real, just because I think people are more comfortable in their own characters’ skins.” Including Corddry himself.
“I’m just really arrogant and cocky,” he laughs. “I just walk around pushing people. That’s what I’m told you’re supposed to do on a second season: Act like you’re the king. I think people appreciate it.”
Ballers Season 2 airs Sundays at 10/9CT on HBO beginning July 17.