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Brad Pitt is probably one of the only people on the planet who could make baseball statistics look exciting, playing a real-life baseball manager who employs an unconventional approach to analyzing stats and recruiting players. On the surface, the idea might not scream “winning film,” but Moneyball manages to score top points as both a baseball movie (probably the best since Bull Durham) and as a Brad Pitt crowd-pleaser for people who don’t have a clue about baseball or couldn’t care less. Moneyball is about the game of life, finding value in things that others don’t, and the cost of winning. It’s based on a bestselling nonfiction book (of the same name) that outlines a new way to evaluate players, explaining why the traditional method (using run averages and batting averages) is flawed. The central figure is Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager who built an unlikely team of misfits and has-beens and led them to an improbable winning streak in 2002, upsetting the Major League establishment in the process. As a film, it works. Along with co-stars Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and director Bennett Miller (Capote) defy the odds with a hit film that’s simultaneously moving and funny.

 

We got a chance to sit down with the film’s star, Brad Pitt, and ask him about the film, fame and good looks:

Why adapt this book into a movie?

It’s unconventional material. We were looking for an unconventional film, and I think Bennett [Miller] succeeded.

What was it about baseball and Billy Beane in particular that spoke to you?

He’s a bright, tenacious guy who’s very aggressive when he’s after something. He’s as sharp as a knife. Very funny guy. I was really interested in this man who was supposed to have it all. He played [six seasons in the majors] and when it wasn’t working out, decided to stop midway and do the quieter thing, to work in the head office. In the process, he reinvented the game. At least, he certainly changed the way we study it and place value.

The film speaks to both baseball fans and Brad Pitt fans. What do you think of the finished film?

I feel the same. It’s shameful how little I know about baseball – even now. But I fake it really well!

We heard that Billy Beane wasn’t happy with the casting. He wanted a famous, good looking guy to play him.

Such a smart ass!


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