Pitch stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kylie Bunbury knew they had to sell themselves as baseball players in their chemistry read. Gosselaar had an idea to create instant baseball camaraderie.
“I was like, ‘Nice to meet you. We’re going into this room. We have to do this chemistry read and oh by the way, I’m a polite gentleman. Do you mind if I smack your ass?'” Bunbury took no issue with the proposal and asked her future costar if she could smack his own butt during the read. “So that was our thing walking in the room and smacking each other on the bum,” said Gosselaar.
The pair wanted to sell the complex dynamic between their characters on the new Fox series. Bunbury plays rookie pitcher Ginny Baker, who’s the first woman ever called up to play in the majors. “It’s even more interesting on this level,” says Bunbury, “because I’m coming in as a rookie and he is a veteran who is almost on his way out and also I’m a woman so we have to sort of figure out this rhythm and this sort of dance.”
Gosselaar thinks his character Mike Lawson sees Ginny as no more than a simple rookie. “The relationship between Mike and Ginny starts off a bit contentious, but only because Mike the veteran catcher on the squad and it would be no different than any other rookie coming through, ” the actor adds. “I don’t think it means too much to Mike what gender.”
It’s all about the battle for the win for these characters. Gosselaar sees the drama as “a story about struggle and empowerment.” The endorsement from Major League Baseball is just the cheery on top. “It makes it that much more special,” says Gosselaar.
Watch the full video on the costars above and Pitch premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. on Fox.
— Additional reporting by Robyn Ross