Celebrity Interview: Bonnie Bedelia Talks on the Making of "The Hill," Career, and The Future

The Hill, an upcoming release based on professional baseball player Rickey Hill's life, starring Dennis Quaid, Bonnie Bedelia, Joelle Carter, and Scott Glenn, presents an uplifting triumph over circumstance film with Colin Ford starring as Rickey Hill.

Having the chance to talk to Bonnie before the SAG/AFTRA strike stopped all junket participation, the following is our conversation. The Hill is scheduled for release August 25, 2023.

JW: So, congratulations on the film I really enjoyed it.

BB: Thank you.

JW: You're welcome. So, you know I spoke with Colin Ford, and he told me in his interview that he had been cast nearly five years ago and the project was shelved and then the pandemic stopped all projects and suddenly found new life, so when that happens what goes through your mind?

BB. It didn't happen to me on this. I was actually I was involved in another project and I was a week away from getting on a plane to go to location when everything was shut down and we didn't do that movie a full year and a half later so and that was really tough.

And this one I don't know maybe my character had been cast with someone else or maybe they hadn't even gotten around to it yet you know they would get their lead first you know they'd get Colin first who I hear it was wonderful in the movie I actually have not seen the film. But I was there when we were shooting it really good feeling about it.

Celebrity Interview: Colin Ford Talks on the Making of "The Hill," Dennis Quaid, Baseball, and God’s Timing

JW: It is, it's very good.

BB: I'm so glad.

JW: Yes, so tell me about your reaction when you first read the script?

BB: Absolutely could not believe it was the true story. I mean it's almost like a miracle. How does a little boy who has a degenerative spinal disease and can't walk and is in the braces, how does he make it to the major leagues? I mean it just seemed not believable. Of course, it was so I was astounded by that. It was also beautifully written, you know it was written by Angelo Pizzo who wrote "Hoosiers" and "Rudy" and the other writer Scott Marshall Smith so I kind of read up on him and then I read the script and it was just like this smells really good, I think I want to be a part of it and of course the role was very different from what I normally do so alright.

JW: And the audition process, tell me about the audition process?

BB: I didn't audition. They just asked me to do it.

JW: Oh really?

BB: Oh, that's pretty much how I get work now. I stopped, basically, auditioning decades ago. Occasionally if there's a role that's very different from what people have seen me do, they'll, you know, if it's a real different character, then I'll do a zoom or something with them. The fact is at this point in my work life I want to work with people who want to work with me.

Celebrity Interviews: Andie MacDowell Talks on Life, Love, Spirituality and Aging in Hollywood

JW: Sure.

BB: I don't jump through hoops anymore you know to try and talk people into using me, if they just came to me and it was wonderful and I said, 'yeah I'll come and play.'

JW: I certainly understand that it's a great philosophy. So, in the film, there's a huge investment in relationships, family, God, baseball which you said earlier, it's hard to believe that it was a true story. So, how did you prepare for that and build that into your character?

BB: Well early in my career, I for some reason, I wound up playing a lot of southern women and or rural women, and stuff like that so that part wasn't, because I grew up in New York City I'm a Manhattan girl, so that part wasn't hard.

I assessed because this takes place in the early '60s that this woman was probably born in the last century she would have been born in the 1890s so growing up in Texas, at the turn of the century being poor, going through the depression, and all of that abuse, you know it's not explored in the movie but background for me, I kind of just knew who she was and more than that she doesn't take any crap. She's very strong, she's devout but I think she believes in God, not necessarily the dogma of the religion but she goes to church she knows all the hymns she has a special relationship with Rickey when he's a little boy because she sees that he's getting no support at all from his father and in fact the opposite is what's going on and she sees God in Rickey she knows that God created him with those legs, yes God gave him that spirit and so she becomes his biggest defender and she's been around too long, she probably smoked a pipe, and she's not going to stand by and just let his dreams be crushed by his father's narrow mindedness, grand righteousness, and selfishness.

So that was really fun to play, and it takes place over like 15 years or 20 years something like that from the beginning to the end which was really fun to do the aging makeup. I had a wonderful makeup artist who did this I looked in the mirror and they said, "oh I'm this old lady." It really does, you know it really does help when you have the visual going on and that was a lot of fun because you know we're all going to be old someday.

Between Two Worlds Review – Candid, Unpretentious, Genuine

JW: Yes.

BB: We're no longer young but we're not old either. So, it was different from what I've been doing lately and also even more than the fact it was different it was just so well written. The whole bunch of work that I've done recently there just hasn't been a whole lot on the page. I've had to like just set-up, you know, sure work thinking about how I could make it compelling, or whatever and with this I heard that he had to do anything because they just written so beautifully. Grandma's (the character, Gram) right there on the page and I just I went, 'oh I know her I love her.'

JW: Okay, so when you get a role, when someone offers you a role how long is your prep usually?

BB: Sometimes I get a call on Friday, and I have to be on location on Monday. So, a lot of time, you don't get much time at all. With this, I can't even remember. I read the script over and over and over. I don't think about the scenes or how they're going to be played because you can't do that because you don't know what the other actors are going to be doing in the scene. But if I just read it, over and over and over until I absorb it more and it gets deeper and deeper into my psyche. So then whatever happens, when I'm there will happen and to have wonderful actors to work with a really great cast.

JW: So, tell me about working with Dennis Quaid and the others?

BB: Well Dennis, well Scott Glenn is an old friend from way back in the 70s when we were just at the start of our careers. But I didn't, I actually didn't get to work with him because he's in a different part of the movie. Dennis, I didn't know. I ran into him over the years, you know here and there back in the old days. He didn't remember that, but I said to him, I guess I made a really good impression.

Celebrity Interview: Director Ric Roman Waugh Talks on the Making of Kandahar

He's very focused and he was very intense, but of course his character was so stern and intense and so I don't feel like I really got to know Dennis. Our car, when we were in the scene, when we were rolling yeah, we were right there and I felt like we were completely together and but then off, outside of the actual scenes, I didn't really get too much of a feeling for him.

I wasn't sure whether he, you know his character, was just so stern and so I didn't know, is that Dennis or is that his character? I wasn't completely sure. He had a great dog named Peaches, who's a bulldog cross on the set all the time right around us when we were acting [s]he was everywhere. Actually, I shouldn't say he, I think Peaches was a girl, but I just feel like I got to know Peaches a little better than Dennis. He's wonderful in the scenes that we did together.

It was just really; it was actually great working with him I just I don't sometimes you get to know people who you work with, and you really feel like you know them, and I don't really feel like I got to know him, but I was in and out too. That's the way that's done.

JW: How about working with Colin Ford?

BB: The first actually, the only time I worked with Colin Ford was my last scene in the movie won't be given anything away but my last scene in the movie was the very first scene I shot.

Celebrity Interview: Dale Dickey, Star of Stage and Screen, Talks on the Making of "A Love Song"

JW: Oh, wow.

BB: So, I had not met him. I was there on the set in my complete old lady drag and we were really to roll because I think he was busy doing something else and the door opened, and he walked in to do the scene and I, it was the first time I laid eyes on him. Here's this like really handsome young man coming in and sitting down and we had this very emotional scene and that was how I met him and the only scene that we did together.

Oddly it was my very first scene, was my last scene, which I hope it works because you know as an actor you think how could this be I haven't established any relationships right? I don't know anybody I don't even know the crew, I don't know anybody, I'm just I'm there with this young man and he was wonderful in the scene. I could see that.

JW: Do you have a most memorable moment from the film?

BB: I just love being in that car. Being in that that car, we were in that car for days, with all of our stuff piled up on top of this old jalopy, it didn't, you know, I mean you didn't know if, nothing seemed to work. The Teamsters were always in there, the driver captain was in there trying to help Dennis pull the right I mean it didn't work like a regular car, But, what was fun was that everybody was in the car together, the whole family and we were all squeezed in there and you get to just sit there and you don't have to talk very much you don't have to, you know, it could just be the character in the car right.

My memories are like being in the scene and being just having very strong character it just doesn't happen that often, that you have that much that you're given.

Celebrity Interview: Dianna Agron Talks Mayim Bialik, Naya Rivera, Indie Filmmaking

JW: So, what's next for you?

BB: I wish I had an answer for that. In my experience I don't know if I've like hit an inflection point in my career you know there's so many reasons why people aren't working now; it's the material, it's the stuff that's being done, it's the category that you're in, like there's just I came up with a group of actresses that were always kind of up for the same roles and nobody's working.

JW: Thank you so much for your time today. I enjoyed hearing about your experiences and about your experience with the film and your career and best of luck to you. I know that parts will come your way you're a talented actress and I appreciate taking you taking the time to speak with me.

BB: I really enjoyed it Janet, thank you so much.

JW: Okay, great thank you so much.

The Hill, an uplifting, triumph over circumstance film, will be released in theaters everywhere, August 25, 2023. See it!

**Interviews were conducted before the SAG/AFTRA Strike.

Haute Tease

  • COVID-19: Catalyst for the 'Great Reset'

    Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving with your family? Or awaiting Dr. Anthony Fauci's permission? With most traditional events geared to usher in the holiday season cancelled Americans are forced to make decisions on any upcoming family gatherings.

  • Chef Jacques Torres: The Sweet Life of Classic Pastry Arts

    The French Culinary Institute recently launched Chef Jacques Torres, international chocolatier, newest Pastry Arts cookbook with a half-day sweet affair that included, for members of the press, a session on creating delicious Pâté â Choux cream puffs.

  • Spring, if You’re Reading This… Can You Visit Soon

    As I look outside my window, to see a whole city covered in a blanket of snow, I’m reminded of Bing Crosby, Christmas carols and all things holiday. Yet, the presents under the tree have been opened for some time now, the ornaments gone, and lights properly put away. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, being from Colorado; I love skiing down the slopes of Breckenridge and walking in my snow-boots to Starbucks. I love everything from the first frost to the last flake falling.

  • World News: Belarus Crisis Forces European Union to Choose Power or Partner

    The Belarusian crisis reveals in filigree all the limits of the European Union's diplomacy against Russia, an unwavering supporter of Alexander Lukashenko. It is up to the European Union to become a power and no longer a partner sometimes heard.

  • Marlowe Review – Stylish and Entertaining Whodunit

    Marlowe, from Open Road Films, brings to the screen the newest installment in the famed detective series as the gumshoe takes on a missing lover case and becomes entangled in the shady side of the studio business.

  • STK LA Review - A Must Do-or-Dine Destination

    When it comes to steakhouses, Los Angeles is a carnivore's cornucopia and one, STK in the W Los Angeles in West Beverly Hills, thanks to an well-conceived, expertly executed menu, chic atmosphere, and attentive staff, becomes a dining event.