Mara Brock Akil’s hit series, Girlfriends, is finally getting its flowers now that it’s available on Netflix.
Tracee Ellis Ross is the only character that has been in the spotlight since the show ended and many fans are wondering what the rest of the beloved cast is up to.
Reginald Hayes, who played William Dent, revealed that he struggled after the show ended. There was talks that the male figure on the show was going to get a spinoff show or possibly a movie, but apparently that didn’t happen.
He said, “I had started a complete rebuild on my house and all of a sudden I didn’t have a job. But the house was on an amazing piece of land and I was able to sell it and break even. So I moved from a house on the hill down to a little bungalow in a sketchy area and people would come by: ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ Those were pretty awful years. I made it work with my little residual checks for a year and then I ended up moving into my sister’s garage for six years.”
“It’s hard, you can’t even get a day job because people come in and take pictures of you and put it on the internet,” he added.
The Girlfriends star said he tried to get a job as a bouncer and a furniture mover but neither gigs worked out. “I tried being a bouncer for a while, and everyone in the club wanted their picture taken with me. I’m 6?2” but everybody knows I’m like a mouse; once you know me, you know I’m a pushover. So that didn’t work out. I also tried being a furniture mover, but I was in my 40s so that only lasted a couple of days. My back never would have survived it.”
Hayes reflected on some lessons he learned during his stint in Hollywood. “I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I’d had more time to ease into it. That you have to save your money. And you need to develop good friendships with people that aren’t going to just go away. Try to find people who aren’t just after you for your money. And maybe pursue other interests.”
Although he didn’t watch the series while it was on the small screen, he’s been watching it on Netflix. “I couldn’t watch myself on the show when I was on it; I think I had only watched 10 episodes when it ended,” he said. “Your weight goes up and down, or you don’t have your contact lenses in one day your eye goes kind of wonky — it’s just hard to watch. But now I look back on it and it’s a love affair.”