Hi, Bryan Here….
Thinking about 20 years ago to when I was thirteen years old and going with my friends, who we all played little league together, to see ‘The Sandlot‘ on the big screen. A film that would inspire us, makes us laugh, cherish our friendship, and love the game. I remember seeing it a total of five times in the theater, with each time getting better and better. And twenty years later, ‘The Sandlot‘ still holds up as seeing it for the first time all over again. And I had the honor and privelige to discuss ‘The Sandlot‘ and other things with the director of the film David M. Evans and actor Patrick Renna, who played Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter a.k.a The Great Hambino.
Evans is on a national tour right now across the states going from ballpark to ballpark screening the film. And in several states, some of the actors are joining for a little Q&A action. What is better than watching ‘The Sandlot‘ at a huge baseball field at night? I’ll tell you, it doesn’t get much better. So Fox released a 20th Anniversary edition blu-ray back in March to celebrate the film. Unfortunately, the extras were sure lacking with only a couple of trailers and a five minute studio promo feature. Now, the fans want and would really enjoy a long retrospective with interviews from all actors as they ar present day on their thoughts of the film and what it was like making the movie. Maybe even a commentary track, deleted scenes, bloopers, and a longer in depth original making of the film from that hot summer in 1992.
So, I sat down with Mr. Evans and Mr. Renna for 20 minutes and we talked about a variety of subjects. I learned how they used some movie magic skills for some shots in the film and even what the vomit was made out of from the carnival scene. I learned of some of the pranks that were pulled on set with the kid actors as well as their love for puppetry vs. CG effects. We then discussed some of their previous work as well as some upcoming projects they were working on, which all sound very promising. They also let me know some of their influences in film growing up that inspired them to work in the industry. They are two of the nicest people and it was a pleasure talking with them.
Evans got his start in Hollywood by writing a little film called ‘Radio Flyer‘. You might remember that movie which starred a young Elijah Wood (pre Frodo) and young Joseph Mazello (pre ‘Jurassic Park‘). Adam Baldwin (‘Friefly‘), Lorraine Bracco (‘The Sopranos‘), and Tom Hanks (‘Turner and Hooch‘) also starred in the film. This was Evan’s first project, which he was let go due to inexperience, but got to stay on set full time and learn from the great Richard Donner (‘The Goonies‘), as he took over as director. Evans’ vision is severely different from what was released, but in a month or two, we will be able to read his vision in the form of a novel. I can’t wait to read it. This is somewhat of an autobiographical book, which ‘Radio Flyer‘ was based on, and we touch on that lightly in the interview below. The book will be called ‘Robert Radio Flyer, The King of Pacoima‘.
In addition to ‘The Sandlot‘, Renna starred in ‘Son in Law‘ opposite Pauly Shore and Carla Gugino, ‘The Big Green‘ opposite Steve Guttenberg and Olivia d’Abo, and was seen on a few episodes of the hit ABC series ‘Boston Legal‘, where he played a fresh out of school lawyer going up against James Spader, William Shatner, and Candice Bergen.
Enjoy the fun interview below.