"The Game has 50-leven lives," I told Wendy Raquel Robinson last month during a Zoom call, which took place ahead of the premiere of the dramedy's third reboot and fourth iteration. The football-centered series, which evidently has a cat-like lifespan, has found a new home with Paramount+ more than five years after its last season finale aired in 2015, and more than 10 years after it was originally canceled by The CW. The latest reboot centers around Robinson's beloved character, Tasha Mack, and her co-dependent relationship with her son, Mailk Wright, played by Hosea Chanchez. Since its inception in 2006, fans of the series have seen a host of characters come and go; however, the mother-son duo are still a constant.
"They're three dimensional. They're flawed. We live this boss life and this high life but you also see their pain," Robinson says of the pair's reliability. "You see the unraveling. That is a common denominator that our fans have been ride or die for. There's a Tasha Mack and Malik Wright in everybody. We can dine at the White House and we can hang in the hood."
What also draws fans to the duo is their undeniable chemistry, which transcends the fictional storyline and the fact that they're now co-executive producers of the television show. "Hosea and I have an incredible connection. We're family," Robinson gushed of their friendship, which is unprecedented as far as her other work relationships are concerned. "Our families have spent every single Christmas together. We go beyond The Game. It's beyond the characters. I think that chemistry transcends and really crosses over into who we are. We're attached at the hip. We're attached for life."
While fans of The Game will appreciate that the reboot features guest appearances from OG characters, they will also get to know new characters—including an all-grown-up version of Brittany Pitts, the daughter of Kelly and Jason Pitts.
"Where we pick up at this new reboot, you actually see her as an adult. You see her figuring out who she is outside of her parents," Adriyan Rae, who plays the adult Brittany, tells EBONY.
Stepping into an established franchise as a brand new character can be challenging, but Rae's unique experience of assuming the role of a legacy character was an even more complex undertaking. "It does make you a little nervous at first because there are things that are already preset for you," Rae confessed. "I did a lot of research on the old Brittany and baby Brittany. I really touched into her psyche and her childhood trauma. I really touched into her relationship with her parents and how they molded her."
Rae's Brittany character also serves as a connector between the show's legacy characters and its newcomers. "She is in the new school and within the younger generations of the actors coming in and she merges the two of them," shared the actress. "In this world, she is the merger between the new and the old."
"It's an entirely new reimagining of [this world]," adds Robinson. "It's nerve-wracking at times but it's exciting at the same time to see the freshness coming from a different perspective. In this world of The Game, players come and go but the game stays the same."