Crisis, Confidence And Baseball: Jon Hamm Talks Million Dollar Arm

Sports agent J.B. Bernstein, as portrayed by Jon Hamm in the new film >Million Dollar Arm, is an interesting character. Within a professional situation he is a man that doesn’t take no as a reasonable answer and is confident enough to change your mind. Behind that veil, however, sits an anxious man in trouble. He is in deep financial crisis with his company and it wears down on him in a big way, bringing him to the brink of giving up throwing in the towel multiple times. Watching the film, I couldn’t help but wonder how Hamm was able to get his mind around both of these contrary aspects of Bernstien’s personality. Fortunately, as you can see in the video above, I had the opportunity to talk to the star the very next day.

As part of the Los Angeles leg of the Million Dollar Arm press tour, I recently had the chance to sit down with Jon Hamm on-camera and talk about his role in the based-on-a-true story baseball drama. And while the conversation began talking about J.B. Bernstein’s two-sided persona, that wasn’t the only thing we discussed.

As my follow up, bridging from Hamm’s response to my first question, I also took the opportunity to ask about the fact that Million Dollar Arm has him playing a real living person – a daunting task for any performer. I was curious about how meeting the real J.B. Bernstein had an effect on his interpretation of the character and what he got from reading the script. You can watch his answer below:

With time left to ask only one more question, I widened my scope to ask about how the star – who has been earning rave reviews playing Don Draper on Mad Men for years – goes about choosing the projects that he wants to be a part of. Does he prefer parts that are closer to he is naturally, or does he prefer to escape from that box? While Hamm has proven himself to be a gifted, versatile actor, his answer may surprise you,

Million Dollar Arm, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and co-stars Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Madhur Mittal, Pitobash and Alan Arkin, will be in theaters this Friday, May 16th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.