Taryne Mowatt … movie star?by Anthony Gimino on Nov. 13, 2009, under Sports
Coming soon to a theater near you, Taryne Mowatt.
Well, you might actually have to wait a while, and you might have to look kind of hard when the time comes, but Mowatt — the photogenic pitching star of Arizona’s 2007 championship at the Women’s College World Series — will be coming to the big screen.
Mowatt was recruited to be among the extras for a mega-Hollywood movie starring Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon, who plays a professional softball player and member of the USA Olympic team. The still-untitled comedy, written and directed by James L. Brooks, recently wrapped shooting, according to this video clip of Witherspoon from MTV.com.
When a casting call went out for softball players, a former coach of Mowatt’s from the National Pro Fastpitch league called the ex-Wildcat to see if she would be interested.
“I put together a little video and filled out a resume and they sent it over to the director,” Mowatt said.
“It took a couple of months to get it processed and for them to pick who they wanted, and then one day, they e-mailed me and said they wanted me to play a small part in the movie. I was like, ‘OK.’”
For sure, Mowatt is keeping busy.
She does clinics and other softball instruction. She is part of the PFX — a professional softball barnstorming tour. She and former UA teammate Sam Banister recently shot a untitled pilot for a TV show in which Mowatt is the host, meeting with athletes from other sports “and we kind of explain the similarities and differences between the training they do for their sport and the training we do for our sport,” she said.
Mowatt, who has two ESPY awards from her UA playing days, spent three days in Philadelphia last month for her scenes in the movie, which is set for release in December 2010, according to IMDB.com.
TucsonCitizen.com caught up with Mowatt to discuss her experience:
Q: What happened when you got to Philadelphia for the shooting?
Mowatt: “When we got there, (former UCLA coach Sue Enquist) took us all out to dinner. Coach Enquist was a big part of the movie. She had been working with Reese for months and months, teaching her how to play softball. Then, for two days we had rehearsals for seven or eight hours, just basically practicing, working on the scene setup, how we wanted it to look. The director hadn’t decided exactly what he wanted the scene to look like, so we came up with a couple of different options to present to him no the shooting day. After two days of rehearsals, we shot the scene.”
Q: So you spent all day on set?
Mowatt: “You have to get there really early, like 6 o’clock in the morning. I mean, they have every breakfast possibility you could think of.”
Q: How long do you think the scene will be in the movie?
Mowatt: “I think it’s like a 30-second scene that took, not including the days of rehearsals, about three to four hours. You have to keep doing it over and over, and from different angles and making sure everyone looks OK.”
Q: Did you love it or did it become tedious?
Mowatt: “I loved it. I know there were a lot of girls there who didn’t like all the waiting around, and I was like, ‘I love this. I could do this all day long.’”
Q: What did you love about it?
Mowatt: “I just loved seeing how everything worked behind the scenes. Keep in mind that it supposed to be set in Arizona. And it was cold there. I mean, it was freezing. I guess it had dropped down to 40 degrees. But we’re supposed to pretending that it is sunny and hot. Just the way they changed the field to make it look like it was in a different place; it was kind of cool to see that. I was looking at it, wondering, ‘How are they going to make this look like Arizona? There are trees and it’s green and it’s cloudy.’ It is going to be interesting to see how they changed what we filmed to make it look like it is set in a different place.”
Q: How do you describe the scene you were in?
Mowatt: “My scene is a very small scene. I just play a member of a team that is underneath the Olympic team. And what we’re doing is practicing little drills, and then Reese walks by practice and we all just kind of admire her.”
Q: Did you get to meet Reese?
Mowatt: “She came over to use and introduced herself. We talked for little bit before we shot the scene, and afterward we talked to her for a short time before she had to go shoot another scene.”
Q; What was she like?
“She was tiny. That was my first impression — ‘Wow, she is really small.’ Coach Enquist had said she is very small and petite, and I was thinking, ‘Yeah, obviously.’ But when you see her, she is even smaller than you think. I want to say 5-2 and just really skinny, almost like if you were to hug her, it would feel like she wasn’t there.”
(Witherspoon is scheduled to be on Friday’s Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, so she might reference the movie.)