Jonah Hill Interview For ‘Moneyball’
Based on a true story, Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, whose unorthodox approach to fielding a team had a major impact on the game, discarding baseball’s conventional wisdom. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game. Alongside Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, ‘Moneyball’ stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Stephen Bishop, Kathryn Morris, and Chris Pratt. ‘Moneyball’ is released in cinemas September 23rd in the US, and November 4th in the UK. Check out what Jonah Hill had to say about the film below.
Was your character the one you could relate to most in ‘Moneyball’?
Jonah Hill: When I was making the movie I never really related to Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane or my character, I related to Chad Bradford. The scene where he says, ‘No one ever gave me a chance or an opportunity before.’ You know, ‘Superbad’ was the movie why I’m here, Amy and Doug at Sony, and Judd Apatow gave me that opportunity, where I was a very unlikely person at that time to be a star of a big motion picture. Again with this movie, Bennett Miller, Brad Pitt, Amy and Doug….I was a very unconventional person to be in this dramatic movie (laughs). I do feel like I continually get that underdog opportunity – I can’t stop smiling about this film, this movie is constantly inspiring for me.
Peter Brand and Billy Beane make for an entertaining and charming team.
Jonah Hill: Yeah. To me, Peter Brand is a guy who doesn’t fit inside the idea of Baseball, as it’s known to everyone in the world. But he has the passion for it, and he has these ideas about why it needs to be different, and why things needs to change. It’s scary to have these thoughts because you’re not gonna tell everyone in the thing that you love that they are wrong (laughs). So because of that he’s kind of quiet, but then he meets Billy, Billy is the first person who shines a light on him, and gives him the courage and muscle to execute these ideas. Together they form this really unlikely endearing team of two brave guys.
How did you approach this role, he’s slightly different to parts we’ve seen you play before?
Jonah Hill: I just approached my role by trying to play this character as honestly as possible, with what it was like for these guys that worked with Billy at this time. I really wanted to express the point of view of someone who has these great ideas, but doesn’t have the courage or power to execute them. Once Billy and Peter meet, Peter secretly, in a garage, expresses these ideas to Billy – what he’s thinking, what it all means. Billy sees something in him, he sees a way to change things using this young guys ideas. So together they form this sort of Frankenstein, become a team that ends up changing the way people think about the game.
The idea of being open minded is a big theme in the film, the sabermetrics…
Jonah Hill: Yeah, I think it changed baseball, if not sabermetrics itself, but the idea that the system for the past 150 years isn’t always going to be the system, you have to be open to change. It’s that way with any business, or way of life – the second you close yourself off from change, is the second your admitting you will be defeated at any point. I think anything great like baseball, or anything in life, it has to be open to change.
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