Sounds like Brad Pitt has earned the eternal gratitude of baseball player cum actor Casey Bond, who’s getting his big movie break playing Chad Bradford in Pitt’s Sept. 23-debuting “Moneyball.”
“He was very accessible on the set — a truly great mentor, master of his craft,” gushes Bond, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and then played for three years in the minors before switching to an acting career. “The thing I remember most that he said — after we filmed the first cut of a scene, naturally I wanted to go look at the playback. He said, ‘Casey, don’t look at the first playback, ever. It will screw you up every time, I promise.’ No need to go and look and start thinking too much.”
The real-life saga of Oakland A’s manger Billy Beane, who revolutionized the game with his modernized, analytical, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, “Moneyball” also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt. Complete with cameos by some recognizable faces in the sports world, it already boasts more verisimilitude than the average baseball flick. “Being a former professional baseball player myself, the authenticity of this thing is beyond any baseball movie I’ve seen,” says Bond, who has been amassing credits in commercials and print ads for the likes of Nike and One-A-Day Men’s Vitamins while studying acting.
Bradford is known for his extreme submarine style pitching, which Bond says came pretty naturally to him, “but it was strange to get used to. When he pitches — when I pitch — his knuckles almost scrape the ground. After I read for the part, they took me out to see if I could do it,” recounts Bond, who was an outfielder in his professional career. “After they saw I could pitch, I had a meeting with Brad Pitt. It was more of a conversation, one person to another, more about getting to know each other than an interview. I guess if you’re going to be on a film with someone for eight weeks, you want to find out what kind of person they are. He was extremely down to earth.”
Once Bond (www.thecaseybond.com.) got the part, he went into training to perfect his style. A current “Moneyball” trailer opens with Bond throwing right into the camera — a shot managed in one take, he says, with the camera safely behind a plexiglass shield, of course.