Playing with the Big Boys

The venue was perfect. Planet Hollywood: a giant playground celebrating the grandness of cinema where adults and kids alike can escape the toil of reality.

Just the right place for actors Scott Bakula, Ted McGinley and Eric Bruskotter and director John Warner to fool around while entertaining questions from a bunch of college students about their latest project, Major League, Back to the Minors.

“Yeah, the money was good, and I needed a job,” said Bruskotter jokingly in response as to why he signed on to the film. Bakula squeezed in between Warren and Bruskotter, the least giddy of the lot.

“The reality is for me, I wasn’t interested in doing a part three of really anything. My agent just said to read the script. I read it – it was something different. My agent then told me this is a great script, but that the guy who wrote it is even better. `He’s going to direct the movie. He’s getting hot in Hollywood. He’s got a deal over at Dreamworks,’ ” Bakula said.

As Warren explained why he chose the minor leagues instead of the Majors, one of teen-group Hanson’s songs began to bop. Immediately McGinley, in a squeaky mimicking voice, started singing along. “Wait boys, I’m going to sing with Hanson, I’ll be back.” The crew erupted.

During a five-city tour to promote the flick, the three actors and director couldn’t stop the pranking. It was one joke after another. From McGinley describing his fantasies of Kathy Ireland, to Bruskotter joking at the possibility of a fourth Major League, this time set in Japan, the atmosphere was circus-like. The event, however, was interspersed with short sober moments.

Switching to a more serious tone, McGinley noted the difficulty of his part. While the rest of the guys were bonding and constantly pulling for each other and prepping each other for the takes, McGinley, playing Bakula’s nemesis, found the task of developing his character alone a difficult one.

“The hard thing for me was that these guys were all having fun. I look at the team picture and they’re all out there together. And me, I’m by myself asking if I could have a team picture for my scrap book,” McGinley said.

As for their true love for baseball, Bruskotter summed it best when he said, “Me, I don’t like baseball, I don’t even like to throw the ball around.”

Warren seconded this with, “Yeah, me, I loved baseball too. until I stopped drinking.”

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