In keeping with our wall-to-wall “Everybody Wants Some” coverage, here are a few things from the “In the Dugout” panel featuring “Everybody” director Richard Linklater, “Everybody” actor and former collegiate athlete Tyler Hoechlin, Linklater’s college teammate Rick Keeler; it was moderated by Ben Lyons of The Players’ Tribune.
**WARNING: SPOILERS FROM “EVERYBODY WANTS SOME” TO FOLLOW**
- Linklater says that the audience is supposed to laugh AT the entitlement of these college athletes as much as we are laughing WITH them. (I personally thought this could have been a little clearer in the film.)
- Linklater is not much of a social media guy. “I like the bubble of your own thoughts,” he said. He noted later that he hates it when actors are looking at their phones between takes. Hoechlin said he was very anti social media. (It is also clear his character, the power-hitting McReynolds, is based at least in part on Linkalter’s teammate Glenn Wilson — and yes, the ping-pong paddle throwing scene actually happened.)
- Linklater also noted that the thing he misses most about baseball is the hang, is the guys themselves (which is clear in the film.) The trick in the movie with such a large cast is that nobody was forgotten, that the team-ness of the group was emphasized “and that nobody disappeared.” (The soap opera thing was also real. At Sam Houston State in 1980, players usually went to class from 8 to 10:30, had lunch and then practice started at 1 p.m. Soap operas were viewed during lunch,)
- Linklater also said he tried to fight superstitions as a player. That said, noted Keeler: “if you went three-for-four at the plate and had chicken fried steak for lunch that day, you were going to have chicken friend steak again the next day.” Linklater said he did his best to separate routine from superstition. “I don;t believe in luck or any of that,” he said, “but routines are what works, what gets you relaxed.”
- Wyatt Russell‘s character, the stoner pitcher Willoughby, was based on a real pitcher, a teammate of Linklater’s, who had habits that were those of a much older person than the rest of the team. “He wasn’t a stoner like Willoughby but he drank coffee and read the Wall Street Journal,” Linklater said. “But he was a great guy to talk to, he had a really great year for us that year, and one day he was just gone.” This lead to the idea of a character who was, in fact, much older than the rest of the team.
- Linklater said that he preferred arts over athletics because you are ultimately competing against yourself, “maximizing your own gifts,” as he out it. “I don’t have the mentality of a pro ballplayer,” he said. However, there is a definite link between artists and athletes: “You are putting yourself out there, risking that public failure.” There is, however, a definite link between being a good coach and being a director of actors. Linklater is famous for his sense of collaboration and letting actors develop their characters in rehearsal. “I much preferred coaches who left you alone” and didn’t try ot change you, Linklater said. “I remember a high school coach who told me ‘Hey, just hit it outta here and let’s go home.’ Then I hit a home run.” It didn’t work a second time but that stuck with Linklater.
- He also noted that “Everybody Wants Some” is not a college baseball movie, not really. “There’s no college and only a little baseball,” he said. It is not a showcase for the sport. “Any game on TV is going to be more dramatic than what I put in a movie,” he said.