From pharmaceutical sales to Hollywood, actor Vaughn Hebron always knew he was poised to take over Tinseltown.
After making the big leap from the corporate world, and moving to Atlanta, it was within the span of 24 hours that he was cast in his first short film. "Working in corporate, I wasn't fulfilled," Hebron says about his journey to Hollywood. "I was always a fan of movies and television, so when I was figuring out what I wanted to do, I decided to take an acting class," he says. As he continued to figure it out, it wasn't until being laid off that Vaughn got serious about his craft. "My old job offered me another job days after being laid off but I was enjoying acting and decided against it." After taking his severance package, Hebron was off to Atlanta.
"I booked my first role the day that I moved to Atlanta, and eight months later I moved to LA." During those early days of his career, the rough patches were there but for Hebron, having an outlook on life that everything, positive or negative, happens for a reason and leads you to where you are supposed to be has helped him when those moments of self-doubt showed up."It is all about perspective," Hebron says about the challenges he has faced. That perspective came at a young age for the actor, who is the oldest of 9 siblings. "The fundamental lessons that I learned from my mother and stepfather helped me become disciplined, they had high standards, and I took those standards during my corporate days and now in Hollywood."
With his standards intact, Vaughn has seen the results of consistency and hard work. From Tyler Perry's The Oval, which Hebron contributes to learning to "make the best of what setting [he] is in," to now gearing up for the premiere of the reboot of the hit show The Game debuting on Paramount+ today. "I am ecstatic. Nobody is ready for it, the creativity and the imagination of the show will not be expected as it relates to the real world," he shares. And just like the 2006 version of The Game, which ran on The CW for three seasons, and its 2011 relaunch on BET, which brought in a record-breaking 7.7 million viewers, the new iteration is sure to reach even a wider audience. "Fans will see what they loved in the older episodes, and a new audience will be able to take things away from the show that they did not before... the stories are a bit more grounded and real, it will speak to specific groups as the stories unfold," Hebron explains.
Original creator of The Game, Mara Brock Akil, who thirteen years ago created the show as a spin-off to another one of her hit shows, Girlfriends, is back for the latest go at the stories that seem to constantly resonate with adoring fans. This time the show is an hour-long and focuses more on the dramatic moments. For Hebron, he plays Jamison Fields, an undrafted free agent with a dark past, bringing drama to the beloved Sabers. "Jamison comes from a dark path, and we meet him after going through his struggles and we see his underdog story and how will he achieve his dreams," Vaughn says about his character. One would think that coming on board to lead a new version of one of the most beloved shows in recent memories would be a nerve-racking experience, but not for Vaughn, who was ready for this moment, "I was too excited to be nervous. I was excited to work with the returning actors," Vaughn speaks on Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Hosea Sanchez reprising their roles as the mother and son duo, Malik and Tasha Mack. "Working with them you see the talent and gain an understanding of why their characters lasted for almost 15 years."
Working alongside legends seems to be Vaughn's destiny. He also can be seen in the upcoming, sure to be award season disruptor, King Richard, the story of the iconic Venus and Serena Williams starring Hollywood legend, Will Smith. Through it all, Vaughn knows how fortunate he is and knows that the proof is in the hard work. "I want Black men to see how I navigate my career in Hollywood and know that having a definitive goal that you want to achieve and allowing no excuse to stop you, is important. A man who knows who he is and knows where he is going is one of the most powerful concepts in the world. Don't allow yourself to be stopped. Go after it with your best effort.
Catch Vaughn on The Game on Paramount+ streaming now and King Richard in theaters November 19.
Photographer: Dash McIntosh
Photography Assistant: Keilan Scott
Stylists: Christopher Jamar Payne
Groomer: Marquis Guthrie
Creative Director: BYoung Agency