Born in born in San José, Costa Rica, Radek Lord began acting professionally at the age of six. His most recent role is one he couldn’t possibly turn down — Jimmy Burns on HBO’s Ballers.
I had a few questions for Radek about that role, what he’s learned from working on the show, and more.
Tell-Tale TV: You began acting at a young age in Costa Rica. What do you remember most about acting in those early years?
Radek Lord: I remember not knowing what I was doing, just knowing that I was doing it well. You could say I still don’t know what I’m doing; I am just very good at acting like I do — ha.
When I was five, I recorded my very first radio commercial. I didn’t realize that the words I was reading would eventually make [their] way onto the radio. So, it was basically an exploration in acting for me in those days. I realized at a very young age what acting was and how to get a reaction out of people. And that’s all acting is, making people react to things you do. So I think I was very lucky to have found that out.
Tell-Tale TV: What drew you to want to be a part of Ballers, specifically?
Lord: I’m not going to lie — it was working with Dwayne Johnson and being on HBO. I killed two birds with one stone!
The content that HBO puts out is quality content and it is very consistently great content. The fact that my resume would read “HBO” would really be a huge step in my career.
Also, I was a huge fan of WWE as a kid. I recently released a picture of me at a wax museum with a wax figure of The Rock and an eight-year-old me smiling next to it. I was basically fulfilling a childhood goal to be like The Rock.
I was 6 years old playing with a WWE action figure of @TheRock
— Radek Lord (@RadekLord) August 31, 2017
Tell-Tale TV: What would you say is the biggest challenge in working on Ballers?
Lord: I would say the biggest challenge at first was coming onto a show that has been on for a couple of seasons already and being the new guy. It’s the same as being the new kid at school. I thought my first day would be awkward, because the cast and crew all knew each other, and I was the youngest person there too. This was not the case at all. Everyone was so friendly and relaxed, and I felt at home working on Ballers.
Tell-Tale TV: Can you tell us anything about what it’s like behind the scenes?
Lord: The first thing that pops into my head when you mention behind the scenes is the food. Ballers had the best catering and craft service table I have ever seen in my sixteen years of acting. I figured out that it’s probably because they have actors playing football players, and they have to keep them fed really well.
Another cool thing is that they’re just a well-oiled machine. They know what shots they want and how to get them, so they’re able to work so quickly and efficiently.
Tell-Tale TV: What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened on set?
Lord: The funniest thing that happened on set was when the camera crew was setting up a different shot, so Dwayne Johnson and I had a couple of minutes to kill. I decided to use this opportunity to joke around with him and use him as my wingman.
I approached two girls who are in the episode and I said, “Oh, what’s happening ladies. I’m Radek, and this is my wingman Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.” Dwayne Johnson just started cracking up, and the ladies started to blush. Dwayne told me he couldn’t believe I had just done that to him.
Tell-Tale TV: Is there anything you’ve learned from working on Ballers that you’ll use in future roles?
Lord: I did my very first walk-and-talk scene, which doesn’t sound very hard, but took me by surprise. A walk-and-talk is basically when you walk while doing your dialogue with the camera filming right in front of you.
I’m not quite sure why it took me a while, but eventually I got the hang of it. Now I won’t be scared of a walk-and-talk in the future.
Tell-Tale TV: If you could work with anyone on TV, who would it be and why?
Lord: I would work with Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. They create some of the best shows ever on TV, such as The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc. I have always thought that I would work very well in a comedy like that. So far, I have had more on screen dramatic roles rather than comedic roles. I would love to change that!
Tell-Tale TV: What’s one TV show you’ve seen every episode of?
Some of these shows I have seen all the way through at least five times. I want to be The Doctor on Doctor Who one day, but I think that’s a bit far-fetched for me.
Ballers airs Sundays at 10/9c on HBO.
*Featured image credit: Colin Stark
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