June 02, 2014 7:54pm PT by Scott Feinberg
Yankees Star and 'Film Buff' Mark Teixeira on Joining Board of New Film Fest in Greenwich (Exclusive)
NEW YORK -- On Monday morning, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, a two-time All-Star and World Series champion, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg about the recent announcement that an international film festival will take place in the affluent Connecticut town in which he lives with his wife and three children -- and that he is a member of the board that is making it possible.
The first Greenwich International Film Festival won't take place for another year -- it's slated for June 4-7, 2015 -- but THR decided to ask the 34-year-old for a preview of what it will entail; why Greenwich is a good place for an event of this sort; how he will juggle his "day job," which includes summer games, with the festivities; what his favorite films are; whether or not he is interested in acting gigs beyond the TV and Broadway cameos he's already made; and, most pertinent to Yankees fans, how his wrist is doing.
Here are some snippets of our exclusive conversation.
On his involvement with the Greenwich International Film Festival: "I first learned about the Greenwich International Film Festival from a good friend of ours, Wendy Reyes. She had been talking about doing a festival and getting some local celebrities, if you will, involved in launching it. I've lived in Greenwich for five years now, and I thought, 'What a great, really fun way to get involved in the community at a much deeper level,' you know, starting a film festival that hopefully will be here for a really long time."
On why Greenwich makes sense as the location for an international film festival: "Greenwich is a perfect place for a film festival like this because, while it is a suburb and kind of an extension of New York City, it definitely has a feel and vibe of its own. Greenwich residents, a lot of them have lived there a really long time and there's a really strong sense of community. It's one of those towns where everyone knows each other, and people have backgrounds from all over the world, all over the United States."
On the other GIFF board members: "Michael Imperioli is a friend of mine. We met through another good friend, Doug Ellin, the creator of Entourage. Jenna Bush [Hager] is a really good friend of Wendy Reyes, and we had a chance to meet last year and talk about the festival. We have so many different people here with different backgrounds...but we all really enjoy film."
On juggling baseball and the GIFF: "Unfortunately, for the first couple years of the festival I may miss some of the festivities [due to summer baseball obligations], but, you know, my career's coming to an end in the next few years, and we hope to grow the festival every year and make it something that's pretty special in the years to come."
On movies generally: "I am a huge film fan -- I would call myself a film buff, and especially with independent films, documentaries and things that sometimes go under the radar. Those are the films that I like the best. I'm on the road about 150 days a year, and I'm always looking on the hotel menu to find some documentaries or some international films or some independent films that no one's ever heard of."
On his three desert island movies: "Three desert island movies? I would say The Godfather, Caddyshack, and I've always loved Top Gun -- my dad was a Navy pilot, I watched it when I was a kid and there's something just really cool about that movie.... The baseball movie that stands out is definitely Bull Durham. It has some of the best writing, the wittiest lines and just comedic timing -- and the baseball is actually pretty good."
On acting, something he has previously attempted on a TV series (he made a cameo on Entourage, joking about the cost of having three kids in private school in Greenwich), on a late night show (he appeared in drag as Meryl Streep in August: Osage County on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Broadway (he made a one-night-only appearance as a bartender in Rock of Ages): "I love just being around entertainment, whether it's Broadway, TV or movies. I have zero acting experience, other than my cameos. I have no training. But if someone would offer me a small role or offer me an opportunity to get my feet wet, I would absolutely jump on it, just because I think it's a lot of fun. I mean, I perform 162 nights a year on the baseball field. Performing is something that I kinda do right now. So post-career, I'd love to dip my toes in there if somebody would give me the opportunity."
On his wrist, which forced him to leave the Yankees game on Saturday, and the team's outlook heading into the summer: "The wrist is doing okay. It had a flare-up that wasn't really unexpected post-surgery; these things happen in the first year after surgery, so I'm just dealing with that now. Hopefully I'll be 100 percent soon. But, you know, the team? We still have a lot of opportunities. We're not playing as well as we'd like to right now, but we have a few guys who are hurt, and hopefully when CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda and Carlos Beltran come back, we'll have our team close to full-strength and hopefully we'll be able to make a run this season. We do have a talent, and we're looking forward to a good summer."