Moneyball's Jonah Hill Is Looking Forward to Finally Meeting the Real Ron Washington
It will be a little more crowded at the Ballpark in Arlington tonight, when the Superbad actor takes to the hill before Rangers-Indians. Hill, making the PR rounds on behalf of Moneyball, said he's not nervous. "I used to be an athlete," he says, referring to his days as a Little Leaguer. "And I'm in better shape now." He is, indeed, half the man he used to be. "I'm a performer, comfortable in front of an audience, and I've done it before, in Boston, like, a year ago, during the Get Him to the Greek tour. I was there meeting with Theo Epstein," the Red Sox's GM and one of the real-life figures upon whom Hill's Peter Brand is based in Bennett Miller's adaptation of Michael Lewis's book about the Oakland A's use of stats over scouts when it came to drafting players in 2002.
Hill's particularly excited about meeting Rangers skipper Ron Washington, a bit player in the film. Wash was, during Billy Beane's early days as A's general manager, the team's first-base coach and the man who taught Scott Hatteberg how to transition from catcher to first base; he's portrayed by the great Brent Jennings, a familiar face.
"I sat next to [Jennings] for a long time while we shot the draft-room scenes, which took two weeks. And now I get to meet the real Ron Washington. There are so many cool things about this movie. Like, David Justice was at the Toronto premiere." He smiles. "And now, Ron Washington."