Omar Miller is a busy man; between taping, traveling, and conducting interviews like it’s second nature, we’re not sure how the actor whose resume ranges from Eight Mile to CSI: Miami finds the time for sleep. Enstars was lucky enough to get the chance to catch up with Miller and talk about being at the Playboy mansion, his love of travel (which he does for Esquire’s cable network) and the new HBO show Ballers, a half-hour comedy about professional athletes and their money managers and in which Miller co-stars with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Enstars: I saw that you recently posted an instagram picture of yourself going to the Playboy Morning Show, how was that? You looked a little bit nervous.
Omar Miller: It was uh, intense...It had been a test of the willpower. Lots of women walking around. I was, uh, surrounded by naked strangers at 9 in the morning.
That must've been quite a wakeup call.
It, it'll get ya going. For sure. (laughs)
Is there a specific take away that people should have from watching Ballers?
You know what? I just want people to have a good time. This is a show about fun, there's something in it that carries to you. We have a lot of different storylines going on and hopefully, one of the story lines you can relate to and identify with and say. “Wow, okay, that's interesting, this is how this guy is going through this or this is how someone's going through that.” I just want my art to reflect life, you know honesty and real life.
This your first time working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, right?
Yeah, this is my first time working with "The Rock" for sure...But, you know, Dwayne is the coolest man...doesn't matter if you call him Dwayne, "The Rock," Rocky he's just a very...glass half full kinda guy. And it really sets the tone when you go to work on a series and the main star is positive, you know?
Where you fan of him when he was a wrestler?
You know...when he was taking over WWE was kinda when I was transitioning out [of watching wrestling] cause that was around the time I was in high school going into college and I knew who he was, but I wasn't [aware] enough to be familiar really, but I have nieces and nephews [and] we went to one of the shows once and he was just, spectacular. It was pretty crazy.
What about when he started getting into acting? Did you become a fan?
I love the movie The Rundown. There was a bunch of stuff that I liked about him and you know he came off like the man. I betcha that guy's a cool guy. And then when I got to work with him I was like wow, he really is a cool guy
So we know that it takes place in the same place as CSI: Miami, so do you guys shoot at the same places, as, in any of the same locations?
Naw I mean this show is a bit different than what, CSI: Miami was (laughs) about. This show is a lot more clubs and houses and stuff like that. A lot more South Beach partying. And it's a little bit more R rated. But, I do find it interesting that I ended up in multiple Miami shows even though we shot a lot of CSI Miami in LA.
Has working with [Ballers creator] Steven Levinson been different than working with any other show creators you've ever worked with before?
Absolutely. He was definitely more hands on than any other... this was one of my better undertakings and I felt like it was a very serious passion project for Lev and he was serious about it. He's as serious as you can be about comedy...This show is about fun. Ballers is just about absolute good times and you are going to have a good time when you see it.
Do you prefer doing TV or film more?
It depends, it just depends. I just like good projects so if it's TV and it's good it's great because I get to stretch it out over a certain number of episodes and if it's film it's really hard to beat the movies because when you get into a great movie it's a great challenge to portray and it's a great opportunity to display your talent, you know? Nowadays it seems like it's easier to find a good television show than it is a good movie. I think they go in cycles, you know? And eventually movies will get back to being about people more so than about some mega catastrophe, super hero save the world stuff.
You have a show on Esquire network, Weekend Fix, where you travel to a city a new city every episode but just for the weekend. How did you learn the art of perfectly packing carry-on luggage?
[Laughs] Just like everything else in life, doing it wrong a bunch of times...Man, you know what it is? It's so many different times...it's easier for me to go someplace without something, than it is to have over packed. I can't stand being, you know cluttery to the airport and I've had my bag missing for several days, so the last thing I wanna do is check a bag. I'm trying to pack light and get there and have a good time. Most places in the world now because of globalization you can buy whatever you need anyways.
What is the most unique experience that you've had traveling?
Hmmm. Probably, you know what? I went to Israel. I went on a tour of the whole country and that was a very big deal and it was very unique in the sense that I'm not one to take the tour and have tour guides and so it was a trip that was sponsored and they set up the whole thing and it was very interesting and unique to see the holy sites mixed with secular and all this different stuff and see all the Bible stories I've read my whole life come alive it was really...like, mindblowing. Very fulfilling.