This is your first sports movie. Are you a fan of them?
Jon Hamm Oh, yeah. Miracle is one of my favorites. I’ll watch that and I’ll be a puddle. I’m a huge hockey fan. The Rookie, The Natural, Bull Durham, The Bad News Bears: I’m a pretty soft touch when it comes to baseball, dead moms, dogs. Those are the things that push me over the edge.
My mom died when I was 10, so Terms of Endearment? Forget about it. She had colon cancer that turned into cancer of everything. She was young, 35, and she went from stomachache to dead in about three weeks. That’s how fast it was. It’s career-defining, so to speak.
You shot much of Million Dollar Arm in Mumbai and other areas of India. What was that like?
A study in extremes: wealth and poverty, beauty and decay. But the one constant is that the people are the most pleasant, friendly, welcoming people I’ve ever been around. I didn’t meet a mean person. But crowd control doesn’t exist. On our first day of shooting, it’s 6:45 a.m. and it’s already 90 degrees. The door opens to the van, and they point halfway down the block to where I’m supposed to go. But there are 90,000 people between me and [the cameras]. Cows are walking through the set. It sounds like a joke, but it wasn’t.
It’s sensory overload, for sure. How did you deal with culture shock?
I would literally fall face-first into the pool [each night]. I didn’t want dust. I didn’t want stink. I just wanted to float. Just for a second.
I heard you were the only one on the crew who never got sick. What was your secret?
All I ate was rice and lentils. And I only drank beer.