|Going Hollywood: 'Restless' Brewers go from swings to soaps|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 22 May 2007 12:10|
So it seemed fitting that shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Bill Hall and pitchers Chris Capuano and Jeff Suppan taped their acting debuts on the top-rated CBS soap opera of the same name Tuesday.
``I've gotten more calls about this than I have about baseball in the last two years,'' Hardy said, his face perfectly powdered to withstand the hot studio lights.
And he figures to get an even bigger response after the episode airs June 20.
``The ladies might be chasing him after this scene,'' teased Hall, noting that teenage girls comprise Hardy's fan base. ``Maybe he can start getting some grandmas and moms.''
The players' scene involves them visiting the office of Jack Abbott at a photo op during his campaign for Wisconsin state senate. His sexy colleague Phyllis Newman bursts in and is agog at finding four Brewers in her presence.
Before Abbott's campaign manager yanks her out of the room, she gushes over each player's achievements on the field.
``Can I get her name and number?'' Hardy asks in the scene.
The soap opera's casting director sought out the Brewers for the appearance since the show is based in Genoa City, Wis., a real town outside the resort area of Lake Geneva.
``I was a lot more nervous doing this than I would be going out and facing Roger Clemens,'' Hardy said. ``I lost some sleep last night thinking about the lines.''
The Brewers rehearsed with actors Peter Bergman and Michelle Stafford before hitting the makeup and hair room, Hollywood's equivalent to a baseball clubhouse.
As Stafford was primped, she pointed out to Capuano that both are lefties.
``I do sports with my left hand and eat with my right hand,'' he said.
He also explained the differences between right and left-handed pitchers. ``Lefties are more crafty, they don't throw as hard as right-handers.''
Stafford seemed duly impressed.
She suggested the group over go their lines again. As they volleyed dialogue back and forth, the makeup artists worked their magic and a hairstylist curled Stafford's red locks.
``I have to memorize that jargon,'' Stafford said. ``Pinch-hit, go-ahead single.''
Suppan's wife, Dana, along for the trip to CBS Television City, plopped herself into the stylist's chair at Stafford's invitation.
``I have extensions,'' she confided to the stylist.
``So does everyone else,'' he said, laughing.
From the other end of the room, a surprised Suppan noticed his wife getting a blowout. ``How'd you finagle that one?'' he said.
Before Suppan had joined the group, Capuano cracked, ``Sup is actually in his own room. He needs so much makeup, he has eight guys working on him.''
Bergman, an Emmy-winning 18-year veteran of the show, settled into another chair and announced to the makeup man, ``I got a lot of young, studly guys in the room, so make me look good.''
Waiting around downstairs for taping to begin, Suppan pulled out the 2006 World Series ring he earned pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals.
``It fits well,'' actor Joshua Morrow said, slipping it on his left ring finger.
``That's very impressive,'' Bergman said.
Actress Sharon Case chatted up the players. ``Break a leg,'' she told them before realizing who she was talking to. ``Or don't,'' she hastily added.
After nailing their scene in two takes, the players admitted they liked trading their smelly clubhouse for a trip to soap-opera land, where the women are gorgeous and the men are hunky.
``It was really cool to see behind the scenes how everything works,'' Hardy said.
Hall added, ``It's a great life. Everybody wants to be on TV some time or another. I wouldn't mind doing it again.''
Bergman singled out Hall, who has done commercials, as the biggest surprise.
``He was just comfortable in his skin,'' he said. ``The other guys were a little hyped up.''
The millionaire ballplayers earned Screen Actors Guild scale of $375 each for about 15 minutes worth of work on a soap that none of them said they watch.
``I might just save that check from CBS,'' Capuano said. ``That's pretty cool.''
Calling it a wrap, the group ventured across the hall to check out the empty set of ``The Price is Right.''
On the darkened stage, Suppan begged his wife to take a picture of him pretending to spin the Showcase Showdown wheel. She suggested he fall down as he spun it, like some contestants do.
Suppan kept his feet ground, just as he had throughout his visit to the world of make believe.