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Jimmy Fallon Talks About "Fever Pitch"

Fallon on Baseball, Obsession, and the Farrelly Bros.

By

Jimmy Fallon Drew Barrymore Fever Pitch

Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in "Fever Pitch"

© 20th Century Fox
Baseball, Romance, and an Unbelievable Year for the Boston Red Sox: “Fever Pitch” finds former “Saturday Night Live” star Jimmy Fallon taking on the role of a guy who lives and breathes for his beloved Red Sox. Drew Barrymore co-stars as a successful businesswoman who falls for Fallon’s character before she finds out about his baseball obsession.

Fallon on His Favorite Baseball Team and Being a Fan: “I was born and raised in New York so I’ve got to be a New York fan. I’m not as crazy a fan as the guy in this movie. I only catch three or four games a year, if anything. In the movie, this guy got like – he’s a Red Sox fan – and he has like Red Sox sheets and Red Sox pillow cases and a poster of Carl Yastrzemski in his living room and a framed Sports Illustrated Tony Conigliaro that he genuflexes to before he leaves the house. So I’m not a crazy as that. He’s got Fenway Park in his living room, like the Green Monster painted on his living room wall.”

Tapping Into That Obsession: “Man, you hang in Boston for a week and you get it. It’s beyond baseball when you’re in Boston. It’s not even about baseball. It’s deeper. It’s almost like a religion. It’s family, really. It’s crazy. I get emotional thinking about it. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like, you know when they won? I don’t think Boston fans were like, “We got a trophy,” or, “We got a ring.” They were like,” I got to call my dad.” Stuff like that. It was weird. You’d go past cemeteries and see like hats on the gravestones. It’s like deep, man. It’s beyond anything I’ve experienced.”

Fallon and Barrymore Mingle With the Fans: “They were extra nice, nicer than I could imagine. And you get to know everybody. The people in the stands weren’t actors around us. All during the games we had real fans in the seats. Pete and Bobby Farrelly said, ‘Look, if you look in the camera, you’re not going to be in the movie.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, yeah whatever. C’mon Manny. Let’s go.’

The way we did it, it was real guerilla filmmaking. Pete and Bobby were like, ‘Here’s the deal. We do not want to disrupt the game at all in any way. We do not want to have anyone blame us for losing the game.’ So we’d get direction by the beer and hot dog stand and then we’d run in like guerilla filmmaking and sit down. They’d film us saying, ‘Really great game,’ or just cheering or singing Sweet Caroline.

You got to know the same people. ‘Hey Jimmy. How you doing pal? This is my son. And this is my mother.’ You became close. You meet the same people, the same fans. When we started they were like 10 ½ games out of first and of course in the script we didn’t have it that the Red Sox win the World Series. If we did, that would be like bulls**t. They’ve lost for 86 years. All of sudden they’re gonna win? This really is a comedy.

So then we were there and as we started shooting, they started winning. And we were like, ‘What do we do if they win?’ And Boston fans were like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll lose Pally. Don’t have a heart attack. I’ve done this for too long. We’re not going to win. I don’t care how many bloody socks they have. We’re not going to win.’ So they started winning and we called [writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel] in a panic. I mean, we were excited. ‘Dude, this could happen.’ It was just unbelievable. We were in shock. Then we got to go to the Series. Pete was like, ‘We’re going to put you guys on a plane. You’ll make it there for the first inning. In case the Red Sox win, you’ve got to be there. Our movie is about a guy who loves the Red Sox.”

On the Sox Breaking the Curse and Winning the World Series: “It couldn’t have been more exciting, to me anyway. It’s also a perfect ending to my movie. It’s a Hollywood ending from the gods. I was in shock I was so happy. It was amazing.”

The Original Ending of “Fever Pitch:” “The original ending is basically like the Nick Hornby book, which is a great book but it’s really sad. It’s more of a memoir of how fans… It’s a love letter to the fans, which is why we picked the Red Sox because they lose. If you root for something that loses for 86 years, you’re a pretty good fan. Win or lose. You don’t have to win everything to be a fan of something. So the way it ended was that you have that realization about what’s important in your life, my relationship with my team or my relationship with this girl. So I think the original ending was just we rip the contract up, or we don’t really rip it up, then we kiss and the camera just cranes out. But then it cranes back in and they go to the season. So if they hadn’t gone to the World Series, it would have probably just ended on that. Just them kissing on the field.”

PAGE 2: Jimmy Fallon on the Farrelly Bros and Leaving "Saturday Night Live"

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