Donovan Carter had the ultimate preparation for his role as Vernon Littlefield in Ballers: Carter, 29, was a defensive end for UCLA and spent some time in Raiders mini-camp. So when the Ballers gig came up to play Littlefield, an NFL defensive lineman, Carter fit the mold.

"I'm similar, man," Carter says. "I'm a good guy, I got a good heart. I put others before myself. I think I just made a little better decisions than he does. But we're young, successful black men, just working hard and taking care of our families.

"I do my best to dive in and become one with Vernon."

Ballers is in its fourth season on HBO. Littlefield is known for being a gentle giant, who sometimes makes poor decisions with his finances and body, despite having good intentions.

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