‘How Do You Know’ Star Reese Witherspoon Recalls Softball ‘Crash Course’
‘I’m not a ringer or anything,’ she tells MTV News of her newfound skills.
Because director James L. Brooks has only made six films in his career, most actors jump at the chance to work with him — as was the case when Brooks approached Reese Witherspoon for a role in the upcoming romantic comedy “How Do You Know.”
“[It was] incredibly flattering and terrifying at the same time,” Witherspoon told MTV News recently regarding her reaction to Brooks’ initial interest. “When he called me, I was like, ‘He wants to meet me? And do what?’ We sat down, and he said, ‘I want to write this character, and I want you to play it.’ And I was like, ‘Great!’ And he said, ‘I want you to be a professional softball player. Do you play softball?’
” ‘Yes, of course I do!’ ” Witherspoon recalled responding — but she admitted to MTV News in a whisper: “No, I don’t play softball. But I learned. I did a crash course with the UCLA Bruins, and they taught me. Three hours a day for four months. They really helped.”
Given the fact that there’s not much of Witherspoon’s character playing softball in the film, we wondered what motivated her to commit to such extensive training.
“I think it’s a completely different culture growing up as an athlete. You have a completely different high school experience, you have a completely different college experience, your whole career is over in your 30s — that’s just a different life,” she explained. “In a way, it’s almost a suspended adolescence. My character doesn’t really have much romantic knowledge. She’s dated a bunch of athletes on the road and stuff, but she’s never had to be in a real relationship. It was important to assimilate to that culture, because I didn’t know anything about it.”
So given her newly acquired skills, can we call on Witherspoon to play on our team in a future pickup softball game?
“I’d look really good doing it, because I know how to look good doing it,” she admitted. “I’m just not sure I’d help you win the game. I’m not a ringer or anything. Don’t call me in. I’m not going to help.”