Inside the Mind of Casey Bond: From Moneyball to Ring the Bell, Is Portraying Josh Hamilton on the Silver Screen Next for the Hollywood Star?
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Wednesday May 8th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
They say once you go Hollywood, you never go back. So appears to be the case with our very good friend, Casey Bond. From life as a professional baseball player to Hollywood actor, Bond has done it all and seen it all when it comes to the many worlds of baseball.
I originally interviewed Casey Bond during the release of Moneyball. Destined to become a baseball movie classic, Moneyball was nominated for an Academy Award. Also included an actor that you may have heard of, a guy by the name of Brad Pitt.
Moneyball was a tremendous opportunity for Bond, who portrayed pitcher Chad Bradford in the film. Since Moneyball, Bond has been acting on both the big and small screens, as well as producing. But given the baseball roots he comes from, Casey Bond – Baseball – and Hollywood certainly go hand-in-hand. Evidence? Bond’s latest project, the baseball film “Ring the Bell”.
In a world that seemingly has lost its moral compass, it is refreshing to find a movie with a meaning. Where the emphasis is not on violence, sex or drugs. A movie that a parent will comfortable viewing with their child, knowing that values are being shared and learned. Moneyball was about a special baseball team, led by a very gifted General Manager.
That film was about the Oakland A’s during their “Moneyball season” – a snapshot of the team from that time period. Ring the Bell goes in another direction. I think of the film as a look at Scott Boras with a soul, if that is possible.
Where baseball has become all about the mighty dollar, perhaps real morals can stand out. Moneyball was about winning the most baseball games on a tight budget. Ring the Bell takes away the dollars all together and digs deeper. To how much more there is to life than baseball.
Billy Beane cared about winning ballgames. Rob Decker, the main character in Ring the Bell, is the agent that wants to sign the best amateur baseball players at all costs. Two very strong main characters, two very different directions.
I found it very interesting that Casey Bond was a part of two landmark baseball films. They are so different, yet similar. Both films look to shake up the status quo.
But when Moneyball ended, I have to admit…I was left with an empty feeling. Like something was missing. I was so happy for Billy Beane and the success that he had achieved. But yet, it felt like that he never entirely finished the job. Yes, he had the chance to jump ship to the Boston Red Sox. But Beane stayed on board, to see his team through.
A championship though was never meant to be. Heck, the A’s have not had a sniff of the World Series for an eternity. So after watching Moneyball, I found the Ring the Bell to be a completely different experience. When the film finished, I felt refreshed.
I saw meaning in the words spoken during the film. I kept thinking to myself, “Damn…it’s good to be alive!” So while Ring the Bell will never enjoy the acclaim received by Moneyball, it should forever a special place in the baseball video archives. Casey Bond, you have done well my friend. I would certainly rank picking scripts as one of your strongest qualities!
I was very fortunate to catch up with Casey Bond recently, coinciding with the release of Ring the Bell on DVD. We covered many topics, including Casey’s latest film.
Casey discussed his work on the hit television show Nashville, to reflecting back on Moneyball…and we even got Casey’s views on a variety of baseball topics, from his thoughts on the DH to whether Barry Bonds should be in Cooperstown.
If you think that Casey resembles Angels’ star slugger Josh Hamilton, you are not alone. The man referred to as “The Natural” for much of his professional career is a Hollywood movie that is guaranteed to be produced one day. Bond would be a natural fit to play Hamilton- so what will it take to make it happen? Casey Bond shares that with us today!
So get ready to enter the mind of a man who doesn’t just play baseball on the field- but also on your movie and television screens. Back by popular demand, a multiple time guest on MLB reports and one of our all-time favorite greats, the one and only- Casey Bond:
MLB reports: Tell us about your latest film Ring the Bell! How did you get introduced to the project?
Casey Bond: Hello to MLB Reports!
Ring the Bell is a family film that follows a sports agent who comes to a small town to sign the next big thing in baseball.
His path quickly gets turned in directions he didn’t expect, and he runs into me (a former baseball phenom who cut his career short intentionally) only to realize that his life path is one that might need changing itself. My character is able to help him through this life change.
I was introduced to this project via the Director (Thomas Weber). He called me any asked what my interest would be in the film. We met up, and the rest is history!
MLB reports: From Moneyball to the Ring the Bell- you seem to have a great love for baseball movies. Seems natural given your baseball background. Any worries of being typecasted? (i.e. the next Kevin Costner?)
Casey Bond: I haven’t chosen baseball movies, baseball movies have chosen me. It was never my intention to move to L.A. and do baseball projects, it’s just the way the Big Man upstairs has aligned things for me. It has been a huge blessing to combine two of my loves into one. If I get typecast and become the next Kevin Costner of film, I will accept that with the utmost joy. He is an amazing actor and filmmaker, and I would be pleased to follow in his footsteps in that regard.
MLB reports: In all seriousness though, after being part of the already classic Moneyball, what drew you to Ring the Bell? The movies may have a baseball theme, but they are certainly very different films!
Casey Bond: What drew me to Ring the Bell was an opportunity to carry a film that had an amazing message, and one that believe in. It’s a family film with a faith message, and I’m just thrilled to be a part of something that will hopefully have an eternal impact on peoples lives! It was also a wonderful small town story, and those are always fun to be a part of.
MLB reports: The main character in Ring the Bell, super agent “Rob Decker” – can we call him Scott Boras with a soul?
Casey Bond: Haha, well yes I would put him as the Scott Boras of the movie sports agent genre. His soul is perhaps what is in question at the beginning, and everyone will have to see the film to find out if he transforms!
MLB reports: You had some good old ball players a part of Ring the Bell: John Kruk, Rick Sutcliffe and Ben Zobrist! Did you have to “make some calls” to get them on board? What was it liking working with each of them- does any of them have a future in Hollywood?
Casey Bond: It was truly a wonderful experience getting to do a film and work with some baseball legends at the same time. John and Rick were funny dudes, and truly gave their time up graciously to be a part of the film. Ben happens to be a good friend of mine, and I actually did have to make a call to gauge his interest in being a part of it. I knew that the content (along with the fact that he had an opportunity to be in a movie!) would strike true with him, as Ben is an amazing Christian Brother. He said absolutely.
MLB reports: Ok…so I know I can’t ask you to give away the storyline…but something juicy- what can a movie watcher expect from Ring the Bell? Is this film for the “die-hard ball fan” or is there another target audience?
Casey Bond: This film will tug at the heart strings of the die-hard baseball fan that wants to take a deeper look into the players’ “life stats.” By that, I mean this film takes out all of the baseball elements, and brings in the actual person into the equation. Yes, there are some great baseball moments in the film, and things you would never see in any other film (such as a showdown between Ben Zobrist and my character), but the real target of the film is what lies behind the player, the agent, and townspeople. It gets to the heart of the matter.
MLB reports: Coincidentally 😉 Ring the Bell is now available on DVD. Where can fans pick it up? Is there a special edition with any extras that you recommend?
Casey Bond: Ring the Bell is available at all Wal-Mart stores, on Amazon, and on the official movie webpage (ringthebellthemovie.com) you can find other sources as well. I am sure that all of the DVD’s come with great bonus features!
MLB reports: You and I have talked on many occasions- and you know that I will always bring up Moneyball. I can’t help it man, love the film! So tell me, anything going on currently with Moneyball? Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast?
Casey Bond: There will ALWAYS be something going on with Moneyball. I know that film will follow me in my career, and I’m thrilled about it. I am so thankful to have been a part (and continue to be a part) of that film. I keep in touch with many who were a part of the film, and there are always new people making comments on the film. It’s just an honor to be a part of a classic baseball film.
MLB reports: Given the A’s amazing season last year, I can see a Moneyball 2 one day coming out. 2012 was made for Hollywood. On the one hand, it would have been poetic for Moneyball to come out last year with the playoff run. But on the other hand, it sets up for a great sequel. Have those talks started at all?
Casey Bond: Of course we were all hoping for the A’s to be in the playoffs the year Moneyball was released, but I still know it made quite an impact. I haven’t currently heard and clammer about a sequel. In my opinion, sequels are always a risky business when it was done so well the first time. I wouldn’t complain if Chad Bradford made a comeback in Moneyball 2, but only time will tell.
MLB reports: I was just at Walt Disney World in Florida- Nashville the Television series is getting a ton of hype. How did you find appearing on Nashville? Is it a big shift in applying your trade going from the big screen to television?
Casey Bond: I just returned from Disney World! What a coincidence. But then again, who the heck isn’t trying to get to Disney in their spare time…It was another wonderful opportunity to play the role of Gil Martin (the Mayor’s Chief of Staff) in the show Nashville. I spent some of my college years in Nashville, and frequent there quite often as I have plenty of roots and my girlfriend living there now as well. Amazing how these things come together! TV is definitely a different world, but I really enjoyed it and adjusted to the pace quite nicely. Looking forward to the next TV gig.
MLB reports: Word on the street is that you are producing as well! Casey, you are a man with many hats! What projects do you currently have on the go?
Casey Bond: I am producing, you are correct. I have a number of projects in the works, but the main project is about the Legendary Basketball Coach Don Meyer. He passed Bobby Knight to become the most winning NCAA Men’s Basketball coach a few years back. His story is incredible, and he actually coached at my Alma Mater (Lipscomb University) before I ever arrived at the school. He won the Jimmy V ESPY award in 2009 for Perseverance and has had a number of E:60 pieces done on him. Can’t wait to bring this to the big screen!
Final thoughts- rapid fire questions with Casey Bond:
MLB reports: Barry Bonds: Hall of Famer in your opinion?
Casey Bond: Yes to Barry Bonds (though maybe with an asterisk?). I believe he has all the talent in the world to be in the HOF, and deserves it. Steroids is cheating NO DOUBT, but he could have made it without the juice I’m sure.
MLB reports: DH – Do you love it or hate it?
Casey Bond: I’m 50/50 on DH. Love and hate it at the same time…
MLB reports: Will the A’s move to San Jose?
Casey Bond: Hoping the A’s stay put, but something done about attractiveness of the organization to draw more fans. It’s right across the bridge from S.F., and that is such a cool rivalry.
MLB reports: Can baseball come back to Montreal?
Casey Bond: They need to have Randy Johnson to make a comeback and say he will only play for the Expos.
MLB reports: Will baseball ever see another player like Babe Ruth?
Casey Bond: There will never be another Babe Ruth, nor should we expect one. Each player is distinct, and the era’s will never match up. We have a Babe Ruth of every era in my opinion…but he is fortunate to have been at the birth of the “Babe Ruth” notion.
MLB reports: Best player in the game right now in your opinion?
Casey Bond: Tough one…I’m a big Hamilton fan. He is an amazing player, and an amazing example. Actually filmed a commercial with him not long ago for Head and Shoulders. Solid guy…solid player…
MLB reports: If you had to make a movie on one player right now- dead or alive- who would it be and why?
Casey Bond: Another tough one…I would probably lean toward a classic ball player because I love the old-time type of films and characters, but I think Hamilton’s story would actually be incredible, and I know they are in the midst of putting that together. In fact, I want to play Josh Hamilton more than you know…so plug that for me! (editor’s note: mission accomplished)
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Posted on May 8, 2013, in Interviews with MLB Stars and tagged @caseybond, @caseybond on twitter, @jhacohen, @Jhacohen on twitter, angels, athletics, barry bonds, baseball, baseballmovie, beane, bennett, billy beane, bond, bradford, bulldurham, burns, casey bond, clayton, craig stewart, disney world, giants, hoffman, josh hamilton, lewis, majorleague, michaellewis, mlb, moneyball, moneyballthemovie, nashville, pitt, ring the bell, rob decker, ryan scharoun, scooter, soderbergh. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Inside the Mind of Casey Bond: From Moneyball to Ring the Bell, Is Portraying Josh Hamilton on the Silver Screen Next for the Hollywood Star?.