Brad Pitt (left) on the weight-room set in Culver City (which portrays the area under the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) with director Bennett Miller, whom the star credits for “being able to harness all the moving parts and blend it with a sense of authenticity from the baseball world.”
Says Pitt, shown on the set of Beane’s office: “It’s shameful how little I knew about baseball coming into the movie. My baseball career ended with 18 stitches to the cheekbone from a pop fly when I was a kid.”
Pitt, as Beane talking to A’s players, says the blending of actors and real athletes was “seamless.” "I'm a sucker for injustice stories and wanting to right the injustice," Pitt told THR about why he wanted this film to be made.
When his own schedule opened up, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who had starred in Bennett Miller's Capote, called to say, "Have you cast the role yet of Art Howe?" Miller recalls, "We were on the verge of casting it, but had not yet, so I said, 'I'd love you to do it.' "
Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) plays Scott Hatteberg, whom Beane converted from catcher to first baseman. Director Bennett Miller, who hadn't directed since 2005's Capote, is notoriously picky. "I got a call from [CAA's] Bryan Lourd asking if I was interested in baseball," he told THR. "I said I used to be. He said, 'If you're interested in taking a look at this thing, Brad would be interested in talking to you about it.' "
Jonah Hill and Bennett Miller
Jonah Hill (left) discusses his role with Miller, who was convinced Hill could play a dramatic role as well as star in comedies. Hill was "desperate to change things," the director explained. "He was very funny in movies like The 40 Year Old Virgin, but he had become stuck in that box and he wanted out of that box."
"The most challenging scene I ever shot in my life was when Billy asks me to trade [first baseman Carlos] Pena and basically fire him," Hill told THR of his experience doing a dramatic role in Moneyball. "It's a 45-second scene, which is not long, but it's rare you get to see a character grow up in 45 seconds."