Moneyball Extra Stories
Read about local residents' experiences as extras during the filming for Moneyball. And send us your own stories!
During the filming of Moneyball, producers spent more than a week filming A's game scenes at the Oakland Coliseum with hundreds of volunteer extras consisting mostly of East Bay residents. Below are a few of their stories. Were you a Moneyball extra? CLICK HERE to tell us your story.
Samantha Kay, Castro Valley
I went to the filming of Moneyball with my sister and one of her friends during one of the overnight shoots, don't remember the time much other than it ended at 5 in the morning. It was cool because when we showed up, Brad Pitt, my sister's favorite actors of all time for as long as I can remember, was still on set although he wasn't filming. He was just hanging out, talking to people on set with two of his kids running around. They were grabbing stuff from people in the audience and taking it to Brad to sign. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I ran down to the A's dugout with my shoe in hand. Quick aside about my shoes: my sister and I are HUGE A's fan and in the 2003 season, we bought pairs of white keds and green and yellow fabric paint and made our own A's shoes. During the season, I would always wear my shoes and toss them or hand them to players to be signed. They are signed by Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Ramon Herenandez, Harden and a few others. I thought A's movie? Have to wear my A's shoes. So I have my shoe in my hand, ready to hand it over to Brad to add to my collection on my shoe. He was about to walk by when I gently tossed my shoe, only to have it first fall short of the edge then have Brad turn and walk the other way. I used the poster I had in my hand to push it as close to the edge in an attempt to get it to fall over and catch the notice of someone. As luck would have it, Brad headed back in my direction and saw my lonely shoe, sitting at the edge of the dugout at which point I pointed and asked him to sign my shoe. He gave me a funny look but grabbed my shoe, signed it and tossed it back. While in my haste, I forgot to get something signed for my sister, she took the poster and ended up getting extremely close to him and got to see him up close.
Melissa Fail, Martinez
Sitting in the stands and "pretending" to cheer without any sound...it is harder than it looks. We had to do several takes because people would let their emotions flow based on what we were told to do and if there was any sound, they would yell cut and we would have to do it again. It was also interesting in that we had to move a bunch of times to different areas of the stadium, so that it looked like there were people in all the seats for that particular shot. I had no idea that movies didn't have full casts of extras and only like 300 people at a time filling up different shots by moving them!
Joe Denzel, Dublin
I enjoyed speaking to people who were not necessarily fans of the A's or even knew the story behind Moneyball. It was surprising how many showed up just because they wanted to get a glimpse of Brad Pitt. As the night went on, these same people became interested in the story and in the folklore of the franchise. As we started to rehearse the scenes of Scott Hatteberg's famous home run, they began to experience the magic of that moment for the first (and second, and third...) time. Many arrived as star-struck cinephiles, but by the end of the night—or early morning rather—they walked away as baseball fans. The Moneyball philosophy has yet to bring the A's a championship, but perhaps the real legacy of this story will be the new fans the movie will produce.
Rachelle Marquez, Dublin
There were so many great moments during the two filmings I attended. From accidentally sitting in the paid extras area, to seeing Brad Pitt play with Pax and Maddox between filmings. From seeing them roll out the big cameras using a cardboard base (either to protect the field or the wheels on the camera.... my bet is the field) to seeing how movie magic is made. The moment that sticks out the most though is the recreation of Hatteberg's hit in the bottom of the ninth. I was at the actual game so to see it being recreated was amazing. At times it felt like the actual game and it wasn't hard to go crazy. Being a life long A's fan and a long time Brad Pitt fan, this is a perfect movie for me. My sister and I waited outside to watch the arrivals for the premiere and I got Brad Pitt's autograph, along with a few others. It was like a dream to finally see him up close and personal and not an experience i will forget anytime soon.
Aaron Simmons, Antioch
I am Bay Area working actor and I was selected to play a Speciality Extra on the set of Moneyball as the CEO of Nabisco who contributes money to the baseball team. I appear in two scenes in the movie trailer wearing a Navy blue suit sitting behind home plate, the best seat in the house. I experienced several moments as an extra on the set of Moneyball and here are a few of my favorites:
1. When Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt walked across the baseball field with their three children.
2. I was able to give Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill the ‘what's up’ head nod because I was sitting very close to where they said their lines.
3. There was a kid sitting above me constantly giving the peace sign and other distracting gestures. As a result he was removed from the scene because that they had to keep shooting the scene over and over.
4. I have been to the Coliseum for many baseball games and this was the first time I actually had the opportunity to step out on the field. I was in the 1st scene where all the CEO's were lined up
on the field and Brad Pitt went down the line to shake all of our hands.
5. Seeing that Angelina Jolie is just as beautiful in person as on screen. She is my favorite female action hero.