Hi! I'm Delante Desouza. I'm a Los Angeles-based actor and I play Michael Cooper on HBO's "Winning Time". Our season finale is this Sunday, so in spirit of it, I'm here to answer any questions pertaining to me, Winning Time, or whatever else you can come up with!

Proof: Here's my proof!

EDIT: Alright, it looks like things are slowing down and all questions have been answered! Thank you guys so much for jumping on! I had a great time and I look forward to doing this again next season!

EDIT 2: Actually, I’ve got a few more hours to chill, so I’ll answer anything that comes in.

EDIT 3: Alright, it’s 10 PM on my coast, so I’m shutting down. Thank you all again for the questions and I’m looking forward to doing this again!

Comments: 157 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

RebelRebelLeia76100 karma

You're so great on Winning Time! What has been your favorite scene to shoot this season?

delantedesouza98 karma

Thank you so much! I appreciate that! Oh wow, there's been sooo many fun scenes, especially involving the players, haha!

Okay, if we're talking my favorite scene to perform, I'd say it was my last scene at the end of Episode 4 with my wife in the show. There's no words in it, but it's such a beautiful moment for Michael Cooper. Now, my favorite scene to shoot in general would be a tie between Spencer Haywood showing off his self-circumcision in the locker room in Episode 5 and when we spray Paul and Pat with shaving cream in Episode 8. We all had a blast shooting those and the reactions you see are real!

08JNASTY246 karma

Real as in the actor playing Haywood also has a self done dick?

delantedesouza19 karma

Lol no, real as in we were actually laughing when we got to spray Jason and Adrien.

08JNASTY246 karma

Ah okay thanks for the clarification I was thinking there was no way they both had the same thing. I love the show and can't wait for season 2. Keep up the great work!

delantedesouza6 karma

Thank you 🙏🏿!

Corporation_tshirt3 karma

Amazing work by you and the cast as an ensemble. Look forward to seeing you in more roles in the future!

Oh and, yeah, that self-circumcision scene was crazy and completely unexpected haha.

delantedesouza7 karma

😂😂! It was a treat!

risingthermal75 karma

Really enjoying the show! How much work did the actors put in to actually playing like their real life counterparts? Quincy Isaiah does an absolutely amazing job as Magic in that regard I think, as does Solomon Hughes as Kareem. I thought it was a little interesting that the show seems to create an image of Cooper as one of the high scorers on the team, when in reality he was always mainly a defensive specialist. Was that a decision due to your own (or your stunt double’s) experience/ athleticism? It does make for exciting tv!

delantedesouza83 karma

Thank you! I love that you're enjoying it!

It depends on the actor in question, but I'd say we all put a considerable amount of work into different areas. For the newcomers (Myself, Quincy, and Solomon), we're all pretty similar to the players we play in the show personality-wise. In real life, Quincy has an infectious charm with a smile that could light up a room and Solomon's a PhD and lecturer at Stanford, so there wasn't much we had to do acting-wise to believably portray our characters. It was more so getting down the basketball scenes that was more work for us, I'd say.

I think Coop's portrayal as a high scorer was more for storyline purposes as a set up for a possible character arc in Season 2 than it was as a response to mine and my double's athleticism. Between us two, there's not much we can't do basketball-wise. It's also 1980, so I think Cooper will grow into the defensive specialist we all know him to be as future seasons come :).

ThrownAwayByDay24 karma

I'm excited to see what you guys do with Coop's story. He was sort of a glue guy, always around even if he wasn't the main focus. My favorite kind of player.

delantedesouza23 karma

Exactly! A true roleplayer!

AnyUnderstanding36255 karma

Hello, how are you doing

delantedesouza11 karma

I'm doing great! How about yourself?

AnyUnderstanding36256 karma

Am doing good too thanks for asking. I would like to get to know more about you

delantedesouza18 karma

For sure! I recently did an interview with GQ talking about my background and where I'm from, but beyond that, you find me on Instagram.

risingthermal16 karma

Haha, I see how my question was a little unclear, as “playing like” could mean either “acting like” or “playing basketball in the style of” as I’d intended. It goes without saying that you all put a lot of work into “acting like” your characters! The casting for this show is very impressive.

Thanks for the answer. Your performance is definitely a highlight, and what you wrote makes a lot of sense regarding Cooper’s character arc.

delantedesouza68 karma

Oh wow, haha! That's how you know I'm an actor first and a basketball player second! Let me try again with a "basketball" oriented answer:

So, DeVaughn Nixon (Norm Nixon) and Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) both played basketball before, so they have prior experience before filming the show and didn't have much work to do. Most of Solomon's basketball work was in perfecting the skyhook that you see in the show and DeVaughn's already pretty skilled and has the playstyle of his dad, so there wasn't much new stuff for him to learn. Quincy Isaiah (Magic Johnson) played college football and also played basketball growing up, so most of his work was in learning the no-look, behind the back flashy passes that you see in the show. I never played high-level basketball before, so most of the work for me was just learning the basics and getting into the rhythm of running a fast break Cooper-style. With the way the show is shot, each player kind of has their "specialty" and we all as actors just worked on each of our specialties so that when it's edited and cut together, it's an amalgamation of what made each Showtime player special.

Thank you for clarifying!

setarulo46 karma

Love the show! What do you think of the comments made by Jerry about his portrayal?

delantedesouza135 karma

Thank you! Personally, I think that Jerry West is entitled to his opinion about his portrayal in the show, be it negative or positive, just like Magic and Kareem are entitled to their opinions. I think we have to emphasize that Winning Time is not a documentary and states in the opening credits that it's a fictionalized work of art, so we can assume that everything in the show didn't happen exactly the way it's shown. I'll also say that the intention with the show is not to defame or slander anyone's name or legacy. Winning Time is a love letter to the NBA, the Lakers, and the world of sports. We just try to encapsulate all of the humanity in these prolific people and dramatize it in order to make enjoyable television for the world to watch and learn about them. And funny enough, once you see Jerry West's entire storyline and character arc in the show, he's actually one of the most popular and liked characters in the series!

juicestain_28 karma

Absolutely loving this show! I would love to know more about how you guys film the basketball scenes - what’s amazing is how you’ve all managed to capture the energy, speed and flow of that showtime style. Delante, your game winner was particularly awesome - it felt dramatic and heightened but rooted in real basketball, which is a really hard thing to do on film.

So I’m curious if all the actors are experienced ball players? Do you have basketball consultants on set? How big is the court and how high are the hoops set?

Can’t wait for Season 2!

Edit - for spelling

delantedesouza70 karma

Thank you for checking the show out and I'm hyped that you're digging it!

The basketball scenes were filmed inside of a soundstage that we built a basketball court (The Forum) in. It's about 2-3 feet shorter than an actual NBA-sized court because of soundstage restrictions, but the rims are 10 feet high, so it's pretty close to the real thing.

The process was that we'd get the script from the writers on what they envision for the game(s) we'll play that episode, then we'll get with our basketball coach and start choreographing and rehearsing the game for a couple weeks before we start shooting it. There's usually 2-3 camera operators on the sidelines filming the action and a camera operator on the court with us filming the action up close.

With the actors, the basketball experience levels vary. DeVaughn Nixon (Norm Nixon) is Norm's real-life son, so he's played basketball his entire life, and Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) played college ball at Cal and played with the Harlem Globetrotters, so I'd say they're the two players with extensive prior basketball experience. Quincy played basketball growing up and was a college football player. I, myself, started pretty much at ground zero in basketball experience and spent the two years between the series pickup and now learning the game, so I'm the baby of the bunch when it comes to basketball experience, haha! What you'll find interesting is that outside of the players, some of the coaches even have hoop skills! (*hint hint* It's Jason Segel, haha!)

juicestain_24 karma

Thank you so much for the detailed response! Incredibly impressed that the hoops are actually 10 feet 😳 it really look like you’re soaring on a lot of the sequences. You guys are all legit dual threat actors who could definitely hold your own on any court.

And of course, Vanilla Thunder! Haha was a big HIMYM fan so very familiar with Marshall (and Jason’s) storied basketball careers. Hope he was showing you some of post moves on set!

delantedesouza36 karma

Wow, Vanilla Thunder! I gotta hit him with that next time I see him 😂! He's such a humble and modest guy on set that you'd never expect that he was such a monster hooper. He literally NEVER brings up his basketball career. He's awesome.

Ballardinian11 karma

Two year physical prep is impressive! Was this something the production company set you up with or did you get the offer and have to get a basketball and play pick up games on your own?

delantedesouza12 karma

A mixture of both, actually.

Once we were delayed because of the pandemic back in 2020, all productions went dark and stopped filming. I just picked up a basketball and shot against backboards to work on my right-hand and improve my game. I trained with our coach virtually for about 9 months until safety protocols were in place and we could start preproduction on filming again. Once we were back up in February of 2021, the production company took care of our training regimen from there.

NutralMcNutralGuy26 karma

Big fan of your work, would you have voted out Spencer Haywood given a real choice?

delantedesouza41 karma

Thank you so much for checking us out! I appreciate it.
It'd be tough for me! Considering the fact that the NBA back in the 80's wasn't anything like it is today as far as cocaine/crack use, I personally would've been more sympathetic to Spencer Haywood's struggle because I like him as a character. The falling asleep in practice would've been frustrating to me, but I would have given him a chance to get clean first before voting him off the team.

thegreenbastard2321 karma

How good at basketball were you before you got the role?

delantedesouza56 karma

I was terrible at it, haha! I was a track and field athlete in high school and never played organized basketball except for maybe a few runs at LA Fitness. When I got the role in 2019, all of the actors playing basketball players had to attend basketball training camp with our coach Idan Ravin to get ready to film the show. I'm also left-handed naturally, so when we started camp, I had to do everything with my right hand to play Cooper. Luckily, the pandemic happened right when we were about to start filming, so through filming delays, I got an extra year to practice basketball and playing right-handed, which was DEFINITELY needed, haha! But 2 years later, I'd say I'm a pretty solid, basic player now.

movieball19 karma

Are you gonna get to D up Larry Bird next season or what? Bird always said Michael Cooper played him better than anyone. Congrats on the show and being part of such a terrific ensemble of bad ass actors.

delantedesouza17 karma

Thank you for the congrats! That'll up to the writers to decide, but fingers crossed I'll get to lock Bird up next season 🤞!

JeffRyan118 karma

What upcoming event from season 2 are you looking forward to the most?

delantedesouza48 karma

It depends on where the storyline for season 2 will go and where the writers decide to take it, which they haven't told us yet, but I would love to scream fuck Boston again!

kalqp17 karma

To start off, I absolutely love the show (albeit still halfway through it). I was wondering, did any of the real life characters collaborate with you in terms of learning their background, etc or was it all done without any help from any of them?

Edit: seeing your IMDB, Winning Time is only your second work. How difficult was it adjusting to working with renowned actors in this work, and what kind of works are you looking forward to doing in the future?

delantedesouza34 karma

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the show!

Some of the real life characters collaborated with the actors in terms of sharing their background and experience with the Showtime Lakers. I know that Jim Chones and the actor (Newton Mayenge) that plays him got pretty close in that regard. For the most part, though, the main players weren't really involved with us when filming the show. But I'd love to meet Coop someday and hear what he thinks of the show!

Edit: I was actually super nervous at first! Being around huge vets like Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, and Jason Segel, I honestly felt like I wasn't supposed to be there (Similar to how Coop feels in the show, ironically). But when I got on set, all the vets were so kind and open to us newcomers that it made things a million times easier. They know what it's like to be where we were and they're super kind and welcoming because they know that feeling.

I'd love to do more dramedy in the future! I like to think I'm funny enough to make a joke or two, but not hilarious, you know? I need a nice, healthy balance between drama and comedy, haha. Or I'd love to do a superhero movie, whichever comes first :)

EdwardJamesAlmost17 karma

Hi Delante, thanks for doing this.

I hope in S2 we see more of why Michael Cooper is a different breed of cat off court.

The interstitials the show shot with Coop and his wife trying to leave it all out there to make a pro team felt exceedingly genuine as a young Black couple making a bet on themselves for upward mobility in 1979.

Do you have any points about this that you particularly enjoyed portraying, or that resonate with you in filming a period piece?

I look forward to seeing that storyline play out along with all the rest of these arcs. Thanks for putting in all the good work you have already!

delantedesouza16 karma

Hey EdwardJamesAlmost! Of course!

I'm hoping the same! I'd definitely love to really explore Michael Cooper and dig into his story more in season 2.

I really enjoyed portraying someone who's the underdog. I think me and Coop are similar in the sense that we both were often counted out early, but are forces to be reckoned with. Throughout the show, we see Michael Cooper doubting his talent and abilities, much like how I felt stepping onto the set with such big veteran actors, but after he steps on the court, you see the beast that he is! I love it.

I also love the authenticity of the feel of the show. Magic's going-away cookout in episode 2 literally takes me back to the summer cookouts that my family used to have. You see a genuine black family on the show when watching the Johnsons.

kaybee66613 karma

Do you like being famous?

EDIT: What’s it like?

delantedesouza25 karma

Haha, I love this question!

To be honest, I don't really feel "famous". My life isn't that much different from before the show. I mean, I get stopped every now and again by people saying that I look familiar, or I might get asked to take a picture with someone who watches the show, but beyond that, life is pretty much the same (Though, I will admit seeing peoples' eyes light up when they talk about the show to me makes me very happy)!

So yeah, if you consider me as "famous" now, I love it, haha!

Shoot_from_the_Quip11 karma

Hey Delante! Your friendly neighborhood on-set medic here, just saying hi because, well, it's a trip seeing you on Reddit, so why not?

Hope you're enjoying the amazing feedback you and the whole cast have been getting. Well-deserved, my friend. Can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves for season two.

Oh, and Fuck Boston! ;)

S ~

delantedesouza13 karma

Hey S! Thanks for popping in! We're definitely enjoying the feedback and are gearing up to bring an even better season two!

Fuck Boston!

Chenamabobber9 karma

Don't you think it is a little damning that almost no one depicted in the show is happy with it? Jerry West is of course pissed. Kareem is portrayed as kind of an asshole, especially when he told that kid to fuck off when he was acting. As far as I can tell, Magic never impregnated a girl called Ronda, Jerry Buss's mom died long before the playoffs, and Jeanie Buss wasn't given a job by her dad straight out of high school (in fact she already had experience as a manager when she went to work for the Lakers which was much later), and there was never that kind of friction between Westhead and McKinney. So why do the writers feel the need to slander the real people this show is based on to create a compelling story?

delantedesouza20 karma

I'm not in the writers' room, so I don't know exactly why they made certain story decisions, but my guess is that the writers aimed to create a more compelling story that is not only exciting to watch, but also makes the audience fall in love with these characters.

Everyone depicted in Winning Time is certainly entitled to their opinions of their portrayals in it, positive or negative, but Winning Time is a fictionalized work of art. I think that after seeing the full storylines of each of the people you mentioned play out, we as an audience grow to love them because we relate to their humanity and their struggles that they grow to overcome throughout the series. Winning Time isn't a documentary, so we as an audience should always do our research before we accept what's shown in the show as truth.

Jerry West hates his depiction in the show, but he's actually the most popular and well-liked character in it, so I think that it's just about watching that journey of transformation for each of these characters over the course of the season and seeing the beauty that comes from it.

schadkehnfreude9 karma

Hi! Bigtime Laker fan here, and I'm excited to watch this show - haven't yet but will absolutely binge it once the first season is done.

Did you have the chance to read Jeff Pearlman's book that the series is based on and/or study Cooper's career and did that inform your portrayal? Or was it a conscious decision not to do so because you don't want that to influence how he is as a newbie player?

(PS - I also appreciate whomever remembered that Coop always had the drawstrings of his shorts hanging over his waistband!)

delantedesouza11 karma

Hey! You're gonna love the show!

I read Jeff's book in it's entirety and watched interviews and segments with Michael Cooper before filming the show, but the funny thing is that me and Michael Cooper are already pretty similar, so there wasn't much I needed to "act" to portray him in the show. The information on Cooper and Showtime in the book helped fill in some missing pieces for me, but I mainly just went with what my gut was telling me, as well as where the writers and director needed Michael Cooper to go in order to help with the overall storyline.

Yes! If you know about the drawstrings, you'll get a kick out of episode 5 :)

Immola00698 karma

Thanks for doing this! Just curious, have you met or spoken to Michael Cooper? If so, what was his opinion of your performance?

delantedesouza14 karma

Of course!

I've never met or spoken to Michael Cooper as of yet. I hear he's seen the show, so I'm really curious to hear his thoughts on my performance as well.

UncleBurns7 karma

Do you like basketball?

delantedesouza13 karma

I love it! I wasn't very good at it until I started training for the show a couple years ago, but I've always loved watching basketball as a kid. From NBA games to AND 1 Mixtape days, I was following the sport.

13thlionheart6 karma

Hey! You're so great in the show! I was curious how young you would react to you being in it? And knowing what you know now and where you are at in life, what advice would you give young you if you could?

delantedesouza9 karma

Great question and thank you for the kind words!

I think young me would be amazed with me being in the show. I was shy, nervous, socially-anxious, and had low self-esteem as a kid, so seeing me now would've given me hope and inspiration to be who I was much earlier on in my life. I wish I could've seen it.

The best piece of advice I would've given my younger self would've been to fully accept and love himself. There's only one of him in the entire world, so be proud of it and embrace it!

Loggerdon6 karma

When we used to go to Lakers games we would say "Coooooooooop" when Cooper was put into the game. Are we all supposed to say "Desooooooooousa" when we see you?

The show has really become good. I thought it was gonna be kinda corny with Jerry Bus's open shirt and Magic's big smile but the characters have really started to develop.

I grew up with the 80s Lakers and they remain my favorite team ever.

delantedesouza8 karma

Yes. I would love that. Anytime I come on-screen, "DESOOOOOOOOUUUUZZAAA!!!!"

It's great to hear that you're enjoying the show! I hear that it's a nostalgia trip for fans who grew up the Showtime Lakers, so it's really pleasant to hear that we're doing them justice.

fuckst1cK16 karma

Loving your work on Winning Time, and also loving the show.

Ever thought of playing LeBron down the line? You look a lot like him in the proof shot.

EDIT: Grammar corrections

delantedesouza6 karma

Thank you! I appreciate it.

Haha! I'd definitely be open to playing King James if the opportunity came along! It'd be a MASSIVE jump from Coop physically-speaking, but I'm always down for a good challenge!

Toothcloset5 karma

Have you spoken to MT at all about the role? What was that like if so?

delantedesouza6 karma

I haven't unfortunately. I've heard through the grapevine that he's seen the show, but I haven't had an opportunity to speak to him in person about it. Maybe one day!

dealershipdetailer5 karma

Who you got winning tonight, Sixers or Heat?

delantedesouza7 karma

Heat tonight, Heat in 5.

PunisherClegane5 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this - you do a great job on the show. Did you get a chance to meet Michael Cooper and if so, how was that? Did you pick up on any mannerisms you incorporated into your portrayal of him? If able, can you talk a little bit about the audition process - besides the resemblance, why do you think they drafted you?

delantedesouza10 karma

Thank you!

I haven't had a chance to meet Coop yet, but I'm hoping to one day soon! Most of my mannerisms in the show came from watching Michael Cooper's post-game interviews and segments of him in the media.

So for my audition, it was all virtual. Once I sent in my self-tape to Francine Maisler, the casting director, I got a call for a Producers' Session with Adam McKay the next week. We talked casually for 15 minutes on Skype, and then I got an offer for the role a few weeks later. So if I had to guess, I think my natural personality is similar to what they were looking for in Michael Cooper.

JudgeHaroldTStone15 karma

Did you know who Michael Cooper was before you got this role?

delantedesouza5 karma

I didn't. I knew about Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but I didn't know about the rest of the Showtime Lakers until I got the audition for the show and started to research Showtime. Once I actually booked the role, that's when I really started to learn about the NBA in the 70's, Dr. Buss, the Lakers, and Michael Cooper. It was very interesting to learn!

baby_darko5 karma

Advice to give aspiring actors?

delantedesouza14 karma

I think the biggest piece of advice I can give to aspiring actors is to embrace yourself, your uniqueness, and love yourself for it.

Throughout my time acting, I always compared myself to other actors more famous or more talented than me. It wasn't until I realized that there's only one of me in the entire world and there will only ever be one of me in the entire world that I started to really find my own voice and uniqueness as an actor and began to stand out because of it.

So yeah, love yourself and be 100% who you are.

MagMcMag4 karma

What are you plans for the future?

delantedesouza7 karma

Hopefully I get to continue acting! I love it and would like to get many more seasons from Winning Time and eventually move into other projects. But as of right now, I'd like to just keep working as an actor :)

salmans133 karma

Why you look like Bron though ? 😂

delantedesouza4 karma

😂😂😂!!! I guess I gotta play young Bron next then!

salmans133 karma

May you have a longer career in acting and get me a cameo . Don't forget me 😂

delantedesouza2 karma

😂! I got you when I get on! Everybody coming up with me!

throwawayaccseries3 karma

Hi! Have you experienced any imposter syndrome with your success? Does it all feel real?

delantedesouza4 karma

Definitely in the beginning I did. I felt like I wasn't meant to be working on such a high-profile project as my first thing and that they picked me by accident. Ironically enough, my real-life feelings of imposter syndrome worked really well for portraying Michael Cooper, especially when he's first introduced in episode 4. I took what I was actually feeling on set and put it into Michael Cooper in the show.

It's starting to feel more real as time passes. There's something surreal about watching yourself act and seeing where you killed it and where you could've done better, but I'm learning to just appreciate the show for the story that it tells and leave it at that.

throwawayaccseries5 karma

Alright alright, cool man, hey I'm never gonna get the chance to say this to you again so, fuck you for being rich and famous bro 🤣 alright I'll take my jealousy elsewhere

delantedesouza6 karma

😂😂😂!!! I'll take it. Thank you for dropping in bro!

poloace3 karma

Oh man. The show is amazing! Great acting all around and having been a lakers fan as a kid in the 80’s, it brought back a lot of memories of showtime and my family that surround it.

My question: do any of you actually play basketball?

Part two: did any of you know about the drama regarding will Ferrell and Andy McKay? Did it ever come up while filming?

Cheers man! Looking forward to the finale and keep up the great acting.

delantedesouza2 karma

Thank you for checking out the show and I'm glad you like it! There's a lot of nostalgic moments in the show that I'm sure fans of the Showtime Lakers will appreciate.

We all play basketball to varying degrees. Dr. Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) played basketball at Cal and has an extensive basketball background. DeVaughn Nixon (Norm Nixon) is Norm Nixon's actual son, so he has legacy and has been playing basketball his whole life as well. Quincy Isaiah (Magic Johnson) played basketball growing up, but also played college football. I come from a track and field background and didn't have any prior basketball experience (save recreational runs at LA fitness) before filming the show, but trained for the past 2 years to prepare for the role, so we all play to different degrees now.

We didn't know about the Will Ferrell-Adam McKay stuff until everyone else found out when it came out in the trades, but it never affected our days on set. We were pretty well isolated from that stuff.

Thank you! The finale is gonna be awesome :)

SuchSalad43 karma

Can you lend me $50? I'll pay you back on the first, my brotha.

delantedesouza2 karma

Lmaoo!!! I got you bro! Drop me the cashapp 😂

feketegy2 karma

How tall are you?

delantedesouza7 karma

6' mainly, 6'1" on a good day ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

CovidTest2 karma

What’s your dream movie/show to star in, now that you’ve made it to hbo?

delantedesouza1 karma

I would love to do a superhero movie someday. I’ve always loved Marvel/DC growing up and it’d be fulfilling my childhood fantasy. We’ll see what happens 🙏🏿

Ok-Category92492 karma

Did you sleep your way to top?

delantedesouza4 karma

selfawarepie2 karma

How many casual sexual encounters did you have in order to get into character as a 1980s Laker not named AC Green?

delantedesouza1 karma

LOL! Not too many for me since I'm technically married in the show.

Viva_La_Animemes2 karma

Would you be able to give any news about the final episode? Honestly cant wait even if its airing this weekend.

Love the Knee-High socks btw

delantedesouza2 karma

I can't :(. What I can say about the finale is that it's a damn good episode and a great cap-off to the season.

Thanks for noticing the knee-high socks!

Optimal-Shoulder-1862 karma

Hello! First of all I would just like to say I'm a huge fan of the show. Already rewatched some episodes haha. Really looking forward to the finale! And you're playing of Michael Cooper is really great! I watch this show together with my dad and I remember when you came in he immediately told me to focus because he's a fan of who you play and told me how good he was.

A lot of people here have already asked the questions I had in mind but I guess I'd like to ask, were there any improvised scenes you guys filmed? Or changed last minute? And any favorite on or off set stories you'd like to share?

Thank you and hope you have a fantastic day/night ahead of you! :)

delantedesouza3 karma

Haha, thank you for the kind words! Your dad definitely knows what's up!

Great question! The scenes we shot were all written and planned, but some of the lines that are in the show are improvised, especially the comedic ones. The actor who plays Mark Landsberger (Austin Aaron) is the king of improvised one-liners that are hilarious! (e.g. "He called me fat!" [ep. 4], "He seems pretty angry for a guy who's meditating." [ep.9]) Some of the basketball scenes have some improv in the plays that's cut in with the choreographed stuff we had, but it's all mixed in together.

My favorite set story is the improv 5 on 5 game we had during one of our last filming days. It was the Lakers actors vs. the 76er's basketball players and we got SMOKED. Like, absolutely destroyed on the court, haha! The improv basketball games are always a great time though.

Optimal-Shoulder-1863 karma

Wow I'm kind of freaking out right now because I did not really expect a reply but thank you so so much! I really appreciate that you did this AMA and have answered pretty much every comment.

He really does xD
I can't believe he improvised the, "He called me fat😤" and, "He seems pretty angry for a guy who's meditating." Those were really funny! Loved replaying his scenes. Almost all episode discussions mention him at some point. Those basketball scenes are really impressive, no joke to have to recreate Showtime Lakers.

Haha, that seems like a really fun experience!

Thank you so much again! 😄

delantedesouza2 karma

Of course 😉

captainpicard69122 karma

Watching your show right now. Is this your first significant television role?

delantedesouza3 karma

Yep! This is my first role ever. Kind of crazy, right?

bitchyrussianbot2 karma

Why so handsome? You ever come down to San Diego?

delantedesouza2 karma

Haha! I gotta thank my parents for the good genes. I visit from SD from time to time, but I usually am working in LA.

GardinerAndrew2 karma

A man goes in the rain without a hat or umbrella but doesn’t get a single hair on his head wet. How is this possible?

delantedesouza1 karma

I don’t know 🤔. How is it possible?

GardinerAndrew3 karma

He’s bald. Good effort though. Really like the show by the way, I’m not even a basketball fan and I look forward to that shit every Sunday night.

delantedesouza2 karma

Oh, that’s a good one 😂!

That’s great to hear! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the show.

EDIT: P.S. What did the casket say to the casket?

GardinerAndrew1 karma

Hmm I don’t know, what did the coffin say to the coffin?

delantedesouza1 karma

Well I fucked up the joke by saying coffin before the edit, but it goes:

Person 1: What did the casket say to the casket?

Person 2: I don’t know.

Person 1: is that you coffin? Lol

Anyway, have a good night 😂

Prize_Rabbit48942 karma

Am I too late?

delantedesouza1 karma

Nah. What you got for me?

Prize_Rabbit48942 karma

When was the last time you felt vulnerable?

delantedesouza6 karma

Great question!

I would say that my last moment of vulnerability happened when my mentor came into town to visit me.

Coming where I come from, many young black men like myself don’t even live long enough to see their early 20’s, much less make it to Hollywood. I’ve had more friends than I can count on two hands either die of gun violence, gang violence, suicide, or end up with life imprisonment sentences by the time I was 22. It sometimes brings me to tears to think about it.

So my mentor came to town to visit me a couple weeks ago and I just had to let everything out and talk about the anxiety and fear of being on a big show and doing something so big, battling with the constant fear of feeling like I might fuck it all up somewhere along the way. It feels like a lot of pressure to me, but I just ultimately hope that I can inspire a young black kid in Baltimore City or anywhere that’s thinking about fucking his life up to not do that and instead do something positive that helps himself, his family, and the world. That’s what I think life is all about anyway.

So yeah, that was the last time I felt vulnerable 😅.

citoloco2 karma

Think Jerry West was accurately portrayed?

delantedesouza4 karma

Hm. I'm not sure if "accurately" is what I would say, but I definitely couldn't take my eyes off of him when I saw him on the screen. His portrayal throughout the entire season was extremely interesting to watch.

VinDieselsDa1 karma

Hey I don't think you'll see this, but isn't your nephew married to a Mrs Emma Desouza running for office in Ireland?

delantedesouza2 karma

Lmao not that I know of. You may have the wrong Desouza.

Dont_Get_Jokes-jpeg1 karma

How do you feel about that you and your team are used in like 20-30 german rap songs (European money are the highest value notes yellow and violette)

So a ton of "original " german rappers say something along the line of "having more yello violette in my closet than a laker player "

What do you as a laker player think or feel about that?

delantedesouza1 karma

Lol! I think it’s pretty cool. That means we’re international and we’re relevant in other countries.

If it makes the song pop, I’m down for it.

CovidTest1 karma

How does one go about being a software engineer to hbo star?

delantedesouza2 karma

They decide that their lucrative job makes them unhappy, so they quit and decide to chase their dream.

At least, that’s what I did 😉.

[deleted]1 karma


thegoat13373 karma

Do you follow the NBA? Who is your favorite player of all time and also which current player?

delantedesouza6 karma

I do! I'm an MJ fan personally, but Damian Lillard is my favorite current player!

Freeeecurry1 karma

Sell the team, will the lakers sell the team?

delantedesouza1 karma

I hope not! But if they do, at least we can watch Winning Time :)

ParanormalDoctor1 karma

How are you?

delantedesouza1 karma

I’m amazing. How’re you?

melondoggy1 karma

DMV!! Do you miss the east coast, or is LA all you ever wanted and more?

as someone who’s in their late 20s and is awful at basketball, any recommendations on getting better at the sport? can’t let these high schoolers embarrass me every time I step foot on the court

delantedesouza1 karma

DMV represent!!!

I always say that I wish I could pick up all my friends and family from the east coast and bring them to the west coast. I love the environment and weather in LA, but my closest friends are in the DMV.

Getting better at hooping is about dedication to the sport and pushing yourself to get better. If there’s anything I learned over 2 years of training, it’s that anyone, with enough work, can get better at anything, including basketball.

I’d also say you that you have to run with people who are better than you. A lot of getting better at basketball is running with people who are better than you and learning from them. You always learn more from the games you lose than the games you win, so fuck it, play with those high schoolers. Just hustle for the ball, play aggressive defense, and you’ll most likely be picked for runs.

Good luck to you!

RichAd2071 karma

What does it feel like to have a normal picture of you be considered a flex on all others?

delantedesouza1 karma

😂!!! It feels good, I guess. I just know my angles is all 💅🏿

TheBaltimoron-4 karma

Aren't you ashamed of the depiction of the great Jerry West?

delantedesouza10 karma

I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of. I personally think Jerry West has one of the best character arcs in the entire season and his character development and performance made him one of the most popular and stand-out characters in the show thus far.

However, I do understand that Jerry West is entitled to his opinion on his portrayal in the show and his opinion is fully valid. I don't think Winning Time tries to demonize or slander his name just for the sake of doing it, but I think the show tries to encapsulate the humanity in him and everyone else in the show in order to create great television.