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Pratt embraces Hatteberg role

Actor Chris Pratt arrives at

Actor Chris Pratt arrives at "Moneyball" Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. (Sept, 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Chris Pratt has heard all the skeptics - including me - wonder about the appeal of the movie "Moneyball" to non-baseball fans, but he said he knew that would not be a problem when he took his wife, actress Anna Faris, to see it.

"She's not a big sports fan; it's not her thing," he said. "She was like, 'Oh my God.' She didn't know what to expect. She was expecting a baseball movie. It's anything but that. It's artistic . . . I think it's really a character piece."

Still, more so than the other featured actors, Pratt had to come off as a credible baseball player. Most of the people portraying players in the film passed a tryout and have extensive, high-level playing experience.

Pratt mostly gave up baseball at age 13 to focus on football, wrestling and track and field, where he competed in shot put and discus.

So, while "there was a certain athleticism I brought to the role" of Hatteberg, his baseball skills needed polishing. He worked for six weeks with former major leaguer Chad Kreuter. He also had to learn to hit lefthanded, because Hatteberg batted from that side.

Pratt grew up in the Seattle area, where he was a fan of the Mariners team that famously ousted the Yankees in the 1995 ALDS - a feat the "Moneyball" Athletics never quite pulled off, in real life or in reel life.

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