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Worshipping at the Church of Baseball
CHRIS NASHAWATY
July 09, 2012
The cast and crew of Bull Durham try to wrap their minds around how, 24 years ago, a minor league baseball movie became such a major league Hollywood hit
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July 09, 2012

Worshipping At The Church Of Baseball

The cast and crew of Bull Durham try to wrap their minds around how, 24 years ago, a minor league baseball movie became such a major league Hollywood hit

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COSTNER: I had no idea.

SHELTON: I didn't have a clue.

SARANDON: Actually, it happened after the movie. I mean, there was an attraction during the movie, and I could see something was changing from friendship to something else, but we both decided we would wait until we cleared up things in our lives....

ROBBINS: ... And we have two great children as a result of that movie.

IV. "I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter ..."

SHELTON: We painted the grass green twice, and it still looks yellow on film. There aren't that many extras in the stands. It's a small park. The biggest crowd we had was only a couple hundred. We built the bull sign—it was in the script. Ebbets Field had a sign where if you hit it you won a suit. So I wrote, Hit the bull, win a steak. It became such an icon that when they built a new stadium in Durham they built the same sign there.

BURG: The wedding scene was a night scene, and we had no money for extras. Pink Floyd was playing a concert in Chapel Hill, so we went and got the band to say, "We'll be partying after the show at the Durham Athletic Field, meet us there!" And around 11 that night thousands of people showed up in Pink Floyd T-shirts, drunk. That's how we got our extras. We just got lucky. It was that kind of movie.

WUHL: We pulled one of the great practical jokes on that movie. One of the ballplayers in the film was always bragging about how he was scoring with all the local talent in Durham. So we set up one of the local cops to mock-arrest him, saying that one of the girls was 16 years old. Ron was in on it. The cop came over and said, "You're going to have to come with us!" And he just panicked. It was cruel.

COSTNER: I knew that famous speech that I get to give to Susan was really good when I read it in the script. "I believe in the small of a woman's back, the hanging curveball...." It's a tremendous bit of writing. I never thought I really nailed it. I just thought I could have been in the moment more. But I was happy to be able to say it.

ROBBINS: I really liked doing that whole dream sequence when I'm on the mound naked. That was fun. Cold, though. And I like the scene where we slide on the field in the sprinklers.

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