Survivor’s Remorse Stars Erica Ash and RonReaco Lee Discuss Season 2 [Exclusive Interview]
WARNING: Survivor’s RemorseÂ Season 2 Spoilers
It’s game time for the second season of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse. During the show’s six-episode first season we were introduced to Cam Calloway and his family just as the NBA athlete snagged a lucrative superstar contract with a team in Atlanta.
We watched how this close group of characters dealt with the twists and turns of living on an entirely different plane of existence. They experienced next level situations which included endorsement contracts, penthouse apartments and massive faux pas caught on tape that went viral because of their newfound fame.
Tonight the show returns with the Calloways tackling a whole new crop of stories, challenging obstacles and controversial topics. But the great thing about it all is that whatever hits them or tries to knock them down, this family will always have each other.
In this exclusive chat with Survivor’s Remorse stars Erica Ash and RonReaco Lee, the two talk about what to expect in Season 2. We touch on M-Chuck’s love lifeÂ and how one of Reggie’s business ventures might go south. The two also discuss what it’s like to work with – and work for — Lebron James. The NBA champion and Survivor’s Remorse executive producer makes a guest star appearance later this season.
TV Goodness: Erica, I hear the show deals with domestic abuse in a different way in the second episode, what can you tease about that?
Erica Ash: The idea of domestic violence is not anything new, it’s been around forever, unfortunately, and it’s really, really difficult to keep people interested in the idea of it because everybody sort of already knows about it. To bring awareness to the idea is difficult because I feel people are so hyper aware of it. Because issues of domestic violence are sort of dealt with or addressed across the board. But what our show was striving and I think was very successful in doing was bringing such a different and unique approach to it that it causes people — even though they know it exists and are very aware — to reevaluate it. And realize that wow, there’s a whole other branch of this problem that has not been addressed. And this cast has done it.
TV Goodness: RonReaco, can you talk about Reggie and Cam — what conflicts will they face in Season 2? I saw the premiere and you guys clash. Can you talk about that?
RonReaco Lee: Yeah, I think what you’ll find in the second season is Cam (Jessie T. Usher) is coming into his own. The new money is not as new. So he’s starting to get used to this new world that he’s living in. And as a result, Reggie has to make some adjustments as well in terms of how he manages and how he works with Cam. He’s gotta let Cam go. He’s got to give Cam the room that he needs to grow.
And so I think you’ll see…obviously in the first episode of the second season we bump a little bit over contractual obligations that Cam has signed up for that he’s finding to be kind of cumbersome. And it’s hindering his off-season regimen — his pre-season regimen, I should say. But I think going on, it’ll be a recurring theme throughout the show in terms of — especially the second season — with regards to Reggie still trying to move Cam into that next level of…he’s got the endorsement deals, he’s got the contracts but that’s not enough for Reggie. Reggie now is starting to kind of leave no stone unturned. Some of the business ventures that they reference second season are really interesting to me. When I read them, I thought that those were some interesting business ventures that Reggie was looking to get Cam into…But again, just to solidify his legacy. To make sure that he not only has enough money but for his kids, his kid’s kids. For Reggie, it’s all about establishing a legacy.
TV Goodness: What’s M-Chuck’sÂ biggest conflict this season?
Erica: I think M-Chuck deals with herself a lot this season which is a huge thing for her. And it’s a huge thing for the audience as well because you’ll get to see a much more vulnerable side of M-Chuck. And you’ll get to kind of take a peek into maybe the reasons why she might be so angry. And that’s something that people have asked for for a while so I’m actually pretty excited about that, that we get a chance to delve into that a little bit more. She deals with Cam. She deals with Cassie (Tichina Arnold). She’s got her issues she’s sort of going down the list. But the fact that she puts herself at the top of this list is a major breakthrough for her. So I guess her conflicts are pretty internal.
TV Goodness: Will we be seeing anybody coming out of the woodwork that wants to capitalize on Cam’s fame this season?
Erica: I actually think you might see a little bit of the opposite. Not necessarily someone wanting to capitalize on Cam’s fame but Cam feeling like somebody should capitalize on his fame and the person maybe not being as…not reacting the way you would think. If someone came to me and said, ‘Hey, I got millions of dollars. I think he should have some.’ You know what I’m gonna say? Yes. I agree because blah blah blah blah blah…never would you really hear somebody say, ‘Oh no, no, I’m good.’ Something along those lines will happen this season which I think is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And so you get to see that. And then…what else Reaco?
RonReaco: I think there’s a little blast from the past in episode 204. Cam makes good on a promise that he made in the pilot episode and so he does extend the invite to one of the guys in particular from back home. So we get to see a guest spot from one of our back home guys. But it’s not like Adina from last year. This year we really focus on moving forward and establishing new relationships which we do. We all do. M-Chuck does. Cam does. And really Aunt Cassie does. Tichina Arnold’s character establishes a couple of new relationships and we get to explore them and get to have fun withâ€¦
Erica: And she gets to establish a new relationship with herself.
RonReaco: Yes. Yes.
TV Goodness: Who does?
Erica: Cassie. There’s some self exploration and improvement.
RonReaco: On Survivor’s Remorse — nothing is off limits.
TV Goodness: Erica, you talked about how things are going to be internal for M-Chuck. What about her love life?
Erica: Well that’s something that’s going to be fickle a little bit this season. You will see M-Chuck into someone. That’s something to look forward to. That’s another thing that people have been sort of asking for so…you’re gonna get a little M-Chuck action this season.
TV Goodness: What will Reggie be dealing with on the home front with Missy — in the first episode I really enjoyed the talk about natural hair and how everybody reacted to that and how Missy reacted to that.
RonReaco: Obviously we’re transitioning her hair. Reggie is saddled with the responsibility of being supportive and loving her through it, which isn’t hard to do. Missy Vaughn is so much more than just her hair.
Erica: Good answer!
RonReaco: I think it’s a great storyline…thank you. Thank you very much. So we deal with that. Reggie actually tries to take on an endeavor with Cam that doesn’t go as well as he’d like for it to go. I’ll just leave that there. You win some and you lose some. And I think this season you’ll see some mistakes that I make. I think one of the things that [EP] Mike O’Malley wanted — he wants to see his characters make some mistakes and God knows they do. With Reggie — as much as you think Reggie kind of has it together and he knows what he’s doing, this is still new to him as well. And so he too has some things to learn. And you’ll see him have another stumble and the boys have to work through it and I think that the storyline kind of wraps up in a great scene where you see two cousins who are really brothers and they’ve got nothing but love and want nothing but the best for each other. You kind of see that journey for Reggie. But for Reggie, it’s more so all on the business front and just trying to usher Cam in to that next level.
TV Goodness: And, finally, Lebron’s appearing this season. What can you tease about that and how did he do?
RonReaco: I can tell you now he did a great job. When you come to Survivor’s Remorse, there are times I feel for guest cast who have never been on the show because there’s a lot of work. I can’t say how many times guest cast have gotten to set and the script that they’d become familiar with and memorized changes from take to take to accommodate either new ideas or in the event that a scene just isn’t working quite the way Mike O’Malley or [EP] Vic Levin or whomever the director is wants it to work.
But Lebron dealt with all the little curve balls like a professional. I think he clearly has a future in front of the camera once he decides to leave basketball. But he was great. In short, Reggie gets invited to a high stakes card game and to his surprise Lebron is there and it’s a great scene. For me as an actor to sit opposite of somebody that I’ve been watching play basketball since he was in high school was nothing short of amazing.
And the fact of all that — and Erica can attest — Lebron James is in my opinion one of the coolest professional athletes that I’ve ever met. He’s super humble. I spent the whole day with him, his wife Savannah, the boys came, his new daughter was there. And oddly enough I got to hang out with a lot of what kind of comprises his entourage, and to no surprise, it’s a lot of family and really close friends. It was easy to see how [EP] Tom Werner, [EP] Maverick Carter and Mike O’Malley could look at Lebron’s life and go, ‘you know what, this might make an interesting television show.’ Because as I was sitting there and watching it for just one day I thought how amazing this group of people were and really nice and very welcoming.
Lebron did a great job, I can’t wait for people to see it. It’s episode — I think it’s the ninth episode this season. I think people will really be surprised at how — or maybe they won’t. They probably saw Trainwreck — he did a great job in Trainwreck.
TV Goodness: That’s what I hear.
RonReaco: He continues in Survivor’s Remorse to do good work.
TV Goodness: What about you Erica — have you gotten the chance to talk to Lebron at all?
Erica: For me, I got the chance to go to the Trainwreck premiere with he and his group of family and friends and got a chance to meet him and sit with him and Savannah. And then the next day Savannah and I went out to lunch together. And I agree with RonReaco. They’re definitely…all of them hands down are a grounded bunch. His boys are so well behaved. And his daughter was just the most adorable thing ever. When I went to lunch it was me and Savannah’s mom and sister and a close friend of theirs and we kind of had a girls’ afternoon. I had never met Savannah before that weekend or before the premiere and so for her to be so open and so willing to sort of accept me and bring me in, I thought was extremely generous. And I realize it was not something that she had to do.
I got the chance to talk to [Lebron]Â at the premiere. Every time I see him he’s always got hugs and I love yous for everybody. He’s just very welcoming and very warm and it’s a pleasure to be able to work for someone like that. I’ve been in situations where people that I’ve worked for can’t even remember my name. And it’s frustrating and annoying because as artists we work really, really Â hard and we’re very sensitive about our work and when someone can’t even take the time to remember your name, it’s hurtful especially if you work together for more than a season but the fact that he does that, I applaud him and I really respect him.
The second season of Survivor’s Remorse premieres tonight at 9:30/8:30c on Starz.
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