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”.
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Saturday, April.13, 2013
MLB Reports: We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
Napolean Lajoie’s career spanned twenty-one years, 1896-1916. He hit over .350 in ten of those seasons (.421 in 1901) and wound up #18 All-time with a lifetime Batting Average of .338.
Lajoie is #14 in hits with 3,243 and, for you sabremetric fans, he is #17 in Career WAR. Lajoie was considered to be the consummate Infielder of his day. He was the first Second Baseman inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For much of his career, Lajoie’s primary challenger for best hitter in the American League was Ty Cobb. Their rivalry peaked in 1910 when Hugh Chalmers of the Chalmers Automobile Company announced he would give one of his new Model 30 automobiles to the batting champions of the National and American Leagues.
This was a heady and unusual offer. In that era, newspapers paid scant attention to individual records and players who ballyhooed their accomplishments were unpopular with their teammates.
Nap Lajoie and the Top 10 Hitters Of ALL – Time:
Friday September 9, 2011
MLB reports: In part two of our series on Casey Bond, we feature today our interview with the “Moneyball” star. Casey portrays former Oakland A’s pitcher Chad Bradford in Moneyball and will be promoting the movie this week in Toronto as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. Tonight is Casey’s big premiere at TIFF. Before the release of the movie, we had a chance to talk with Casey about his baseball and acting careers. From playing minor league baseball with the San Francisco Giants, Casey moved to acting and appeared on the Gene Simmons reality show “Family Jewels”. With the launch of his upcoming movie, MLB reports is proud to present our interview with Casey Bond:
MLB reports: Welcome to MLB reports Casey. It is a pleasure to be speaking with you and thank you for taking the time for us. From baseball player to movie star. You were originally drafted by the Giants in the 25th round of the 2007 draft. You made it all the way to AAA in your 2nd season. Tell us what it was like to be drafted by a major league team and play professional ball. What was the process like for you from the time you were drafted to joining your first team?
Casey Bond: Have the opportunity to play professional baseball for the Giants was a childhood dream come true. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was play professional baseball (like most kids). I worked hard, and took my talents and abilities to the professional level. A life long goal accomplished.
The process for me after I was drafted was just like most other guys that get drafted. The Giants called me and congratulated me, and then eventually gave me dates that I would be reporting to spring training. I continued to practice and prepare myself for spring training until I had to leave. Once I left, I joined everyone else with the organization, and we began to practice and train until we were told which team we would be on after we broke from spring training. It was very exciting getting to display my baseball skills on the highest level.
MLB reports: Your playing career ended in 2008. Why the decision to end your career so soon after getting drafted? Were injuries a factor?
Casey Bond: I was released by the Giants, after coming off a fairly productive season as an everyday starter, and had a decision to make. I had offers from other teams to play, but the acting world was starting to pull me in its direction, so I decided to consider baseball a goal accomplished, and moved on to another goal in my life.
MLB reports: After baseball, you jumped into the acting ring. Were you always planning to be an actor? How did you get started in the business?
Casey Bond: Honestly, I can’t say that I always had plan on being an actor. It was something that I always had an interest in, but I never really pursued it until I started to take classes in Nashville during the off-season.
MLB reports: Before Moneyball, you were in the Gene Simmons’ show “Family Jewels”. Tell us a little more about the show and your role.
Casey Bond: My role on Gene Simmons Family Jewels was as the “Handsome Handyman.” I was hired to come in and help fix things around their beautiful home. It was a reality show, and I was able to put my craftsman skills to work on the show. They were a wonderful family, and I really enjoyed being a part of the show.
MLB reports: Interestingly, you were an outfielder for the Giants back in your playing days. Yet you are playing Chad Bradford in the movie. How did you get picked for the role?
Casey Bond: It is a very strange coincidence that I am portraying an Oakland A’s player for the film. I always tell people I made it to the Big Leagues with the Oakland A’s it seems. I had to audition for the role, reading with the casting director and director first before displaying any of my baseball talents. I really had to bring my “A-game” acting in the room before I was able to show my skills as well. For whatever reason, when the baseball came along, I was able to teach myself to mimic Chad Bradford’s very unique submarine form. It just worked for me, and I almost wish I had pitched like that. Maybe I would have been set apart even more from the rest of the crowd. I was actually very accurate and effective against batters. After I displayed the acting and the baseball skills, I had a personal meeting with Brad Pitt, where we read the script and basically hung out for a while just talking about life, baseball, etc. It was basically a meet and greet. After this, I found out I was offered the role.
MLB reports: Did you get to meet the “real” Chad Bradford in preparing for the role? Tell us about the process you experienced from getting the part to preparing for the role of being Chad Bradford.
Casey Bond: I haven’t met Chad yet, but I talked to him on the phone for quite some time, gathering information that I could use toward playing the character. I asked him everything from his mental approach pitching, to the way he acted on the team and his time with the A’s.
MLB reports: Can you give us some background on your director Bennett Miller? How did you find the experience working with him?
Casey Bond: Steven Soderbergh did not direct the film, even though he was originally slated to direct it a few years ago. Bennett Miller directed the film, and he was a pleasure to work with. His most well-known work before this film was the movie “Capote.” It was very well received, and he was highly acclaimed for the work.
MLB reports: Which cast members did you work the most with during the filming of Moneyball? Who did you become closest with during and after the filming?
Casey Bond: I worked with a very large number of cast members. Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, and Chris Pratt were among those. All of which were wonderful to work with, and a pleasure to be around. Brad really was a mentor on set, and through advice and sheerly through working with him, I was able to step up my acting game even further. I developed a lot of great relationships on set, as I was on the film for most of the duration of filming. I’m not sure if I could honestly say who I was closest with because it was such a great group of people, of which I was around everyone and interacted with every day.
MLB reports: Can you share one or two good stories from the set of the movie that readers would otherwise not hear about?
Casey Bond: There were some great times had on set. Plenty of practical jokes, especially since there were baseball players involved. Brad and Jonah pulled pranks such as altering each others golf carts on the Sony lot to “embarrass” the other person while they drove their cart to the set. Things such as putting the picture of their faces on the other persons cart, or altering the cart to make it stand out in the crowd.
Brad being a mentor to myself is another great story. A person in his position doesn’t necessarily have to reach out and help the other person with their advice or opinions as that can be left to the director, but he very openly did. He is obviously a legend, and any and all advice from him was wonderful, and I was so thankful for his kindness and thoughtfulness. Truly a very down to earth person who is there to work hard every day and put his best foot forward, which is how I feel a handle my business as well.
MLB reports: Mr. Brad Pitt. One of the last people I imagined becoming Billy Beane. Fans are interested as to how he did in the role. Tell us about Brad the baseball general manager? Is there an Oscar in his future?
Casey Bond: This role played by Brad could be one for the ages in my opinion. He made some fantastic choices, and I think they will come across very well on the big screen. He truly has so many talents and abilities. If you just look at all of the different roles he has played, and played so well, those alone are a true testament to his versatility. All of the components are there for this film to be a huge success, and the way he plays Billy Beane shows his ability to be funny, serious, heart-felt, and compassionate. I’m excited to see the response to his performance, along with all of the other cast members on this film.
MLB reports: I am a huge fan of baseball movies. The fine line is maintaining an authentic feel. Having real players in the roles helps a great deal, including yourself and Royce Clayton. What did movie producers do to keep the feel and flow of the movie from a baseball perspective as being “real” rather than looking like a movie?
Casey Bond: I don’t say this lightly…this film has the potential to be the most authentic baseball movie of all time. The individuals involved with this film were top-notch baseball players. I was fortunate to be an actor who had the professional baseball ability in my back pocket. The guys brought on this film even as extras all had experience from college to professional, and it will show on the big screen. Obviously, Royce had the most experience with around 10 years in the big leagues. I’ll put it this way…if we were to field a team from the people on set, we could most definitely compete with a lot of people. Truly some great talents in this film, which was so important. We have all seen the baseball movies which just don’t cut it as far as believability goes. This will be the one to outshine them all in the authentic department.
What was great was the fact that Bennett Miller, Brad, and everyone else wanted to make sure they got the baseball part right. They wanted to hear our opinions, and stuck with them. I was more than happy to add any and all of my baseball knowledge to this film, especially due to the fact that they listened intently and respected all of the intricacies of the game.
MLB reports: Was the real Billy Beane a part of this movie? Did he visit the set and have input into the movie? What about author Michael Lewis, was he a part of the movie as well?
Casey Bond: Billy Beane was on set multiple times. I’m sure he had plenty of input in the sense that he was the man they could go to if there was a question. After all, his character is what the film is centered around. Michael Lewis was on set too, and I had a wonderful conversation with me. He noticed me right away and knew who I was playing (Bradford).
MLB reports: I don’t recall a baseball movie that was more anticipated than Moneyball (I personally cannot wait to see it). Where will this movie rank about the greatest baseball movies of all time? What is your favorite baseball movie of all time?
Casey Bond: This movie has a lot of hype, and all for good reason. It has an all start cast, and a wonderful story to back it up. Moneyball was a best-selling book, and it brings baseball, business, and life all together into one. Something everyone can relate to.
All baseball movies are different, and this one, for myself, will be the most authentic of all time. My favorite baseball movie of all time (at this point) is Bull Durham. It depicted the minor leagues perfectly, which is obviously something I am very familiar with. The language, interaction, and relationships were done so well. It’s just an amazing movie, especially if you have played baseball at that kind of level. It all makes sense.
MLB reports: You are in Toronto this week for the Toronto International Film Festival promoting Moneyball. How has the promotion circuit treated you thus far? Where are you off to after Toronto and what are the promotional plans for Moneyball?
Casey Bond: The promotional circuit for Moneyball has been wonderful. I have been doing red carpets, radio shows and interviews, interviews with all kinds of media, and am now off to Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival, where I will be walking the Red Carpet as well.
After Toronto, I head back to L.A. for few days before going to Oakland, CA for the U.S. Premiere to walk the Red Carpet, as well is doing other promotional events in Oakland centered around the film. Its been a very exciting and busy time, and I love every minute of it, and can’t wait to do this with other projects in the future.
MLB reports: What is the future of Casey Bond? Do you have any projects currently in the works? What are your plans following the movie?
Casey Bond: The future for myself is to continue to work hard, and apply myself to the acting world (as I have been) just like I applied myself to being a professional athlete. Passion and hard work will translate into success. That is how it has always worked for me, and that is how life tends to work. If you work hard, and are passionate about what you do, you will be successful. I plan on never doing anything but that.
Lately, I have been doing quite a bit of print work for different companies like A.D.I.D.A.S., Muscletech, and others, along with doing commercials and constantly having other auditions. Lately I have also been working with legendary acting coach Larry Moss. Always have to be working on the craft. I have also started a small production company with a few friends out here, which has been a fun process. I love being a part of all sides of the entertainment industry. It has been busy since finishing up Moneyball, and once the film drops, I hope to gain even more attention and go work hard on other projects.
Thank you to Casey Bond for joining MLB reports today. Please feel free to contact Casey Bond on Twitter (@caseybond) or through his website (http://thecaseybond.com) and Facebook Fan Page for comments and questions. Casey will be CONSTANTLY providing personal behinds the scenes photos, videos, etc. of upcoming events that he will be a part of such as Red Carpets and premieres, as well as Moneyball media when the film comes closer to the release! Stay tuned for part two of our Casey Bond feature, with our interview coming up on MLB reports.
**Some of the photographs in today’s feature are courtesy of Peter Hurley**
Part one of our feature on Casey Bond: https://mlbreports.com/2011/09/07/bond/
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