On TV, Hosea Chanchez plays “Malik Wright,” the arrogant and air headed quarterback of the fictional San Diego Sabers. But in real life, the Alabama native describes himself as a “simple guy,” who has never played sports. “Ot

Chanchez is a lead actor in CW’s The Game, a sitcom about love and relationships in the world of professional football. Much of the show’s cast, including Tia Mowery, Wendy Raquel Robinson and Coby Bell, have been in Hollywood for years, but 26-yearold Chanchez is a fresh face.

Six years ago, he was a sophomore at Troy State University in Alabama when he decided to pack his belongings and drive to California to become an actor. “Me and one of my cousins packed up my car and drove. That’s the extent of the planning I did. At 20 years old, there’s not too much planning that you can do,” he told the Defender. “I lived out of my car for about a month.”

He was so unprepared that he moved to the wrong city, more than an hour away from Los Angeles, where he needed to be. But Chanchez did not mind the struggle. He had been plotting to be an actor since age 6, but kept his dreams to himself. “I always knew what I wanted to do my whole life, but it was kind of a hidden secret because it was very far fetched,” he said.

“There was literally nothing to do in Alabama when it came to [acting],” Chanchez said. “California was 2,500 miles away, and the reality of becoming an actor seemed much further than the reality of going to school to become a lawyer or doctor or something.” He described himself as a “class clown,” who hammed it up for his grandmother’s friends and acted in a few school plays.

But after graduating high school, and beginning a business program at Troy State, he knew that he needed to act on his ambitions. “I just remember getting tired of being in school. Every day I felt like I was getting further and further away from my dream. I just felt like I was wasting time,” Chanchez remembered.

Although he expected them to be disappointed, Chanchez’s family supported his sudden move to California, and cheered him on even when he worked as a car salesman to pay bills. He eventually got an agent and made enough money doing commercials and small television roles to quit his salesman job.

Then, two years ago, he auditioned for The Game, and was cast as a star quarterback with an attitude problem. It was his big break. “I was crazy excited,” he told the Defender. “The first thing I did was call home.” Although he has been getting buzz as a newcomer to Black Hollywood, Chanchez is not looking to be an insider.

He lives just 5 blocks away from where he started as a car salesman, and nixes offers to party in favor of seeing movies with friends. “I’m a movie head. I love movies. There’s not too many that I haven’t seen,” he laughed. “I don’t get tangled up in the business.

I just don’t take it for more than what it’s worth. I’m not in a clique, I’m not in a club. I’m just me, living my life and allowing God to do some great things.” Chanchez has big dreams, wanting to eventually get into film, where he said actors have a “wider spectrum of characteristics.”

But for now, he is enjoying his journey; one that began with a car ride to the wrong city six years ago. “I just want to see what God has in store for me, what life has in store for me. I’m just enjoying this moment.”

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