Wednesday's DUAN brought to you by Chico's Bail Bonds, and the fine folks at Just My Show, who interviewed David Pollock recently and made me quite nostalgic for the kids of the North Valley League.
Bill Simmons once called the second Bad News Bears movie "the third-greatest sequel of all time, in any genre," ranking it behind Godfather II and Terminator II. Of course, Bill is prone to fits of hyperbole, especially when it comes to pop culture (or he has a thing for William Devane). The scene with Tanner Boyle running from security in the Astrodome notwithstanding, the original Bad News Bears is really the only movie in the series worth mentioning.
David Pollock was 14 when he played Rudi Stein in the original movie, and here he is reminiscing about the experience in a recent podcast at Just My Show. Pollock, 49, is a certified flight instructor, and currently works for the California School Board Association as senior director of program development. He's also the former president of the Moorpark Unified School District in southern California.
On how he got the part:
"I'm afraid I was typecast. They took us out in the back lot at Paramount and had us throw balls around. They were looking for awkwardness, and I fit the part."
On working with Walter Matthau:
"Walter was great; he had a natural rapport with us. There was this scene when Walter wants me to go in and get hit by a pitch, and I look up and tell him that I don't want to do that. We must have filmed that scene 20 times, because Walter would crack up every time I would look at him.
"There were all kinds of celebrities around the set. We were way out in the middle of nowhere, Mason Park in Chatsworth, before the city was built up around it like it is now. But one day you would see Burt Lancaster, because his son Bill had written the script. Ryan O'Neal, of course, because of his daughter Tatum O'Neal. Jack Lemmon came out one day to visit Walter. Bill Bixby, because Brandon Cruz was in the movie. You never knew who you were going to see."
On the rumored alternate ending:
"We actually did film an alternate ending, in which we did win the game in the end. Fortunately we didn't use it, and it worked just fine."
On the 2005 remake with Billy Bob Thornton:
"Honestly I thought it was more of a sequel to Bad Santa than The Bad News Bears. I haven't met anyone who's liked it."
On the movie's lasting impact:
"It talked about something that wasn't touched on back then; how kids' sports get hijacked by adult egos. In that way it was ahead of its time."
That's it for today, kids. Thanks for your continued support of Deadspin, and listen; if you wiped your nose once in a while, people wouldn't give you so much crud all the time.
The Bears Are Badder Than Ever [Just My Show]