Softball: Witherspoon knocks role out of park with help of Team USA Introducing the newest member of USA Softball… Reese Witherspoon! Well, okay, maybe just in the movies. The Academy Award-winner plays Lisa Jorgenson in her latest film, “How Do You Know.”
Photo Courtesy: www.teamusa.org/ASA/USA Softball - In her latest movie, Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon plays a USA Softball athlete. To prepare for the role, she had plenty of help from Olympic champions and silver medalists.
Introducing the newest member of USA Softball… Reese Witherspoon!
Well, okay, maybe just in the movies.
The Academy Award-winner plays Lisa Jorgenson in her latest film, “How Do You Know.” The romantic comedy also stars Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson and was written and directed by James L. Brooks. “How Do You Know” is now playing in theaters nationwide.
Jorgenson is a fictional USA Softball athlete who is cut from the 2011 Women’s National Team and must learn to adapt to life without the sport.
Who better to help the actress become a softball player than some of USA Softball’s finest players.
Witherspoon trained in Los Angeles with Olympic champions and silver medalists Laura Berg, Crystl Bustos, Jennie Finch, Tairia Flowers, Amanda Freed, Lovie Jung, Jessica Mendoza, Natasha Watley and 2008 silver medalist Andrea Duran. Former USA Softball player and UCLA Softball head coach Sue Enquist served as the film’s softball technical advisor.
“The funniest thing is that Reese knew us all,” Duran said. “She had definitely done her research, which was really cool.”
The players worked with Witherspoon for four months in the spring of 2009 before the movie was shot later that fall.
Though Witherspoon was a gymnast when she was younger and has since stayed in shape, she was a clean slate when it came to softball.
“We had to start from the beginning with her, but it was fun, she was super nice,” Duran said. “A lot of my teammates and I go out and we do clinics and teach kids anywhere from 6 – 18 how to play softball, so it felt kind of like that.”
While Witherspoon primarily took directions from Enquist, it was helpful for her to be around several players all the time, since softball is such a team sport.
For the players, it was impressive to watch how committed Witherspoon was to learning their sport.
“She was willing to go for anything we would put her up to and that was probably the coolest thing,” Duran said. “Just watching her act and watching her try to take in what we’re doing…That’s her job, she has to be us. It kind of blew my mind a little bit.”
Bustos, Duran, Freed and Jung make cameo appearances in the movie’s softball scenes, which include a USA Softball practice and a game between the USA and Australia.
It was the first time any of them were featured in a movie.
“Everything was, ‘Hurry up and wait,’ but it was a very cool experience,” Duran said. “I have so much more respect for what actors do because it’s really, really long days. It was also a lot of fun to see her turn off Reese Witherspoon and turn on her character.