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Fan Q&A: Rashard Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall

After six seasons as a running back with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, Rashard left the pros, as he said, “to travel the world and write.” Rashard now pens scripts for Ballers.

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  • Jim Marsh

    What was your first reaction when you were given the opportunity to work on Ballers?

    • 1 vote
    Rashard Mendenhall

    This is pretty cool. I wonder how far it could go...

  • Are any characters from the show based on any of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    No... Antonio came with his own wardrobe though. Saved us some money.

  • What was the transition like starting out with football and now writing for a tv show?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    The writer's room felt natural to me. I'd spent much of my life reading and debating ideas with friends. The tougher part of the transition was not having a physical outlet anything close to the level of football. Getting back into training has helped that a bunch.

  • My question is , does this television program show the real nfl life ?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Very close to it.

  • When you were writing the script, had you put real anecdotes in it or have modified the truth. Thanks best regards from Paris

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    We find a way to do a little bit of both.

  • How many episodes has HBO ordered? Great show, you can sure tell the storylines are being written by people who have experienced these things!!! Keep up the great work!!!

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    I believe it's 10. Thanks for watching, we appreciate you.

  • Hey Rashard - What's the craziest thing you've ever heard a player buy? Please don't say an elephant.

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Seats of an entire commercial flight, just to fly by himself. I feel that.

  • Any thoughts on where you might take the storyline of season two?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    We're having fun with that now.

  • What has been the most challenging part about portraying life in the NFL on-screen?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Finding a unique way to tell cautionary tales, without going too dark.

  • What other script writing have you done prior to becoming a staff writer for Ballers? What was your first break into the industry?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Before ballers, I'd only written one script. 'Underground' a reimagining of Khalil Gibran's 'Eventide of the Feast.'

  • Did you always plan to become a writer after playing in the NFL?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    I knew I wanted to write, but didn't plan on becoming a writer. If that makes sense.

  • Are there any similarities between an NFL locker room and the writers room for Ballers?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Yes. Lotta talk about women.

  • Have any of your former teammates asked you to get them on the show?

    • 0 votes
  • Will you be making any more on-screen cameos this season?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    I arm wrestle Dwayne in episode 9. (Not really)

  • Do you see yourself in any of the characters featured on the show?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Not personally, but like Spencer I'm also on a path of reinvention.

  • Are there any other HBO shows that you're a big fan of?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    I love HBO's Girls. That's my show.

  • You obviously have an insider's perspective having played professional football. What's the realest detail you've contributed to Ballers, based on your own experiences?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    A small but inside detail is Ricky's #41 Jersey. That number's usually given to a guy who has zero chance making the team. Ricky being issued 41 when he arrives at OTA's is humbling to say the least.

  • If you could have played any other position than RB, what would you have wanted to play?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    Safety. I would've been Troy Polamalu! Minus the hair... And the skills.

  • Was there a specific event in your life that prompted your decision to leave pro football?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    No single event. More a clear feeling.

  • Did you have a professional mentor that stands out in your mind? What was the most important lesson he / she taught you?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    My HS football coach Joe Galambos. After each game, I'd come over and we'd watch the film. He never told me how good I was, only showed me how to improve. That's something I carried with me through my entire College & NFL career.

  • What's the biggest thing that most shows and movies get wrong about football? What's your favorite movie about sports?

    • 1 vote
    Rashard Mendenhall

    I believe it's really tough for movies/shows to capture the players mentality at each level. My favorite sports movie growing up was The Program. I wanted to be like Darnell Jefferson.

  • What’s your favorite moment from the season so far?

    • 0 votes
    Rashard Mendenhall

    When Ricky feeds his Jordan to Alonzo after finding his things in the cold tub. I got tubbed my rookie year and I felt like killing somebody.