As Mickey’s illegitimate son on Showtime’s hit drama series, ‘Ray Donovan’, Daryll (Pooch Hall) has quite the interesting story to tell as he is roped into his family’s mischievous schemes.
Ray Donovan follows Irish-American and Boston native Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) who spends his time in LA works at a successful law firm representing to the rich and famous, but with a twist. Donovan acts as a “fixer” to California’s elite and covers any trace of bribery, corruption, and other illegal activities associated with his clients. As if Donovan didn’t already have enough on his plate, he must now juggle his untrustworthy and medalling father Mickey (Jon Voight) after he is released from prison along with an FBI investigation on his firm.
In season 6, Ray embarks on rebuilding all aspects of his life in New York City. After almost drowning in the East River, Ray finds himself sworn into the Staten Island Police Department, where he faces a whole new realm of unforeseen corruption.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the bubbly and amiable Pooch Hall, who plays Ray’s illegitimate half-brother back in August, in order to discuss the upcoming season.
The Knockturnal: It’s great to be able to chat with you, Pooch! How’s everything going?
Pooch Hall: I’m just trying to make myself great today. It’s not a plan; it’s a lifestyle. We have some more boxing going on this season. Not so much with Daryll, but we have some boxing and I want to start boxing.
The Knockturnal: Love to hear that! I guess to kick things off then, with your character Daryll and his journey especially this season, what do you think sets it apart from other seasons?
Pooch Hall: Daryll finally has his legs. He finally has his voice. No matter how you cut it, he’s always going to be the black sheep of the Donovan’s, but I think he realizes that being a part of this special family and understanding that everyone has a part to play within this family dynamic, and Daryll finally says “you know what,” I want to be like my big brother. I have the capabilities and qualities of my big brother, and I’m going to follow in the footsteps of my big brother in the sense of having a real established career, try to stay classy, try to let everyone know that he matters. I think Daryll’s maturity and growth shines through here. He’s still a young pup. He’s always been a follower, so he finally has the opportunity to be a leader at the start of season 6.
The Knockturnal: Do you feel like you relate to Daryll in terms of either the family dynamic or in any of his characteristics?
Pooch Hall: I definitely relate to Daryll more this year because I consider myself a leader and not so much a follower. Daryll is coming into his own, so him as a leader and him wanting to be someone. He’s not just a lapdog or doormat. He is someone with a purpose, and I think he really realizes it now, after all that’s happened. I mean, sh*t, if he’s not careful, there’s a possibility he can go to jail. Not just get life though, but he might get the death sentence from the stuff he’s been involved with and dealing with this crazy family. So there’s a maturity that comes from having all that baggage to which he really has to make it a point and say I got to grow up. There’s only so much you can take. If you continue to take sh*t, then people will continue to take advantage of you. But I think he realizes where he’s at now because this season is all about “holy sh*t man like first of all I shot someone for my dad. I did that. And not only did I lie about it, but these two people he’s involved with in his life that carry major weight to where he shot an FBI Agent. But Daryll, the character, killed an FBI Agent, and he’s an accomplice in the murdering of a priest. He’s wanted! So Daryll has baggage, and when you play all of those feelings, Rachel, there’s a lot there to pull from. And so, me relating to Daryll in the sense of the maturing aspect and it’s time for me to grow up; it’s time for me to stop being the baby brother, and I got to start being a man.
The Knockturnal: Do you, Pooch the actor, have any advice or could give Daryll any words of wisdom moving forward after this season?
Pooch Hall: Find Jesus.
The Knockturnal: *laughs* I mean yeah, that’s valid.
Pooch Hall: *laughs* I mean, there’s a flip side to that coin, too. I hate playing this card, but that’s what his mom and whatever his black relatives back in Boston would say. If he went back out to his mom and his mom maybe she’s a Christian, maybe she’s not, but the black side, the black family, of Daryll Donovan, somebody would say ‘You need Jesus.’ Just like that. And if Daryll was to say, “Hey Pooch, man. I really like you. Do you have any advice for me?’ I’d say ‘Yeah man. Talk to your family members. They have something important to tell you.’ Now Pooch Hall, the actor, would say ‘now save your money.’
The Knockturnal: One thing I noticed in previous seasons was that it was mostly centered in LA, but a lot of this season takes place on the East Coast. As a Boston native, what was that like coming home?
Pooch Hall: I would love to have shot back home. There was a possibility that we were going to shoot in Boston, and I was really excited about that, but budget-wise we weren’t able to make that happen. We stayed in New York, and being from Massachusetts, I’m from the suburbs of Massachusetts, Brockton, and living in New York, there’s a distinct difference in energy. And for all my Mass-hole friends and family –please put this in the interview- I BEGGED to shoot in Boston, because I feel with this family, we have got to see some of that authenticity, as far as them being from Southie. And it just didn’t work out for us budget-wise.
The Knockturnal: What are you hoping that audiences take away most from the new season?
Pooch Hall: I hope that the audience takes away the continued segment of daring to be different. It’s tough when you’re on a show for six seasons, but we’re so lucky to have a group of actors that are daring to go out on that ledge. And even when I saw the trailer, I literally was like ‘oh crap, this looks like a completely different show, but exciting.’ And I just hope that it’s received that we’re just breathing new life and blood into Ray Donovan, the Donovan family, and you know, lets keep it real, everyone for the most part are all East Coasters, we’re just different from West Coast people, and when you add the element of New York, that’s a challenge within itself. The New York as a character is huge in itself –it’s messy, it’s edgy, but it requires people to pay attention. So I feel in season six that we’re doing something that says ‘okay guys, let’s shake things up, but we’re going to keep the family dynamic.’ I think we’re going to have a great season.
The Knockturnal: And then with glamor and everything you find in New York City itself juxtaposed with the Staten Island Police Department, what was that like seeing all sides to the city?
Pooch Hall: In my opinion, and I’ve spent a lot of time here in New York, New York is New York. It’s almost like one bad apple isn’t going to spoil the bunch, and let’s keep it real, there are some really bad apples with some worms. I think, for the most part, I have been embraced –me just as Pooch- I’ve been embraced by the NYPD all over. I stay in Brooklyn, but I’m in the city a lot, I was in Coney Island with my kids, but the police department and the fire department have been so giving in embracing us to where they’re like ‘hey, we love you guys!’ And the fact that we’re going to be doing a storyline that involves the police department –which you know we’re filming for Hollywood, it’s a lot of fiction, and hey, we’re not here to point the finger at anybody. We’re here to tell a story, provide entertainment. The NYPD has been super supportive. This is just an element of the story.
The Knockturnal: Awesome! Exactly, everything and everybody is multi-faceted. Is there anything regarding the new season or anything else you’d want to add?
Pooch Hall: Yeah. Follow me @iampoochhall on Instagram. Also, I want to make sure the fans, new and old, I want to make sure they know from me and from the rest of the cast that we’re so thankful to be able to stay working within the states and the fans supporting us and being behind us, we are just in awe and we really look forward to hearing feedback, because we really care what they think, and we want to make sure that we are continuing to entertain, because they matter, and I want to make sure that they know that.
Watch new episodes Sundays at 9p/8c on
— Ray Donovan (@SHO_RayDonovan) October 23, 2018
Check out the heart-thumping trailer below!