Thinking about the devil is worse than seeing The Devil’s Own.
Growing up in Chicago, Harrison Ford was always more of a Cubs fan than a Brooklyn Dodgers guy.
But after preparing for his role as baseball pioneer Branch Rickey, Ford found himself in a New York state of mind.
“The more research I did, the more impressed I was,” says Ford, who stars in 42, the story of Dodgers general manager Rickey and Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947 (and wore the title number on his uniform).
The film, out April 12, stars Chadwick Boseman (The Express) as Robinson, who became close friends with Rickey after the general manager signed him to a minor league contract in 1945. Two years later, Robinson made his debut with the Dodgers, breaking an unwritten no-blacks rule followed by every major league team since the 1880s.
...Ford combed through press clippings and news footage of Rickey to prepare for the role, one of his few non-fiction characters.
“Anything I could find, I used,” Ford says. “I discovered he did things too numerous to count.”
His achievements included creating the framework for baseball’s modern-day farm system and drafting one of the sport’s first Hispanic superstars in Roberto Clemente.
“It’s hard to remember the difficulty between the races” in baseball in the 1940s, Ford says. Robinson and Rickey shared “an ethical conviction. Their story demonstrates the best of American character.”
Posted: September 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM | 9 comment(s)
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