Stephen Bishop Talks “Moneyball”

Actor Stephen Bishop on the red carpet after the People's Choice Awards.Photo Credit: Cory Coffield
Actor Stephen Bishop on the red carpet after the People’s Choice Awards.Photo Credit: Corey Cofield

By Dennis J. Freeman

Los Angeles, CA-Actor Stephen Bishop found himself in a great space when he was picked to play his boyhood baseball hero David Justice in the critically-acclaimed hit-movie Moneyball.

Due to the overwhelming awards nominations hype going towards Moneyball, which has grossed over $104 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, Bishop has suddenly found himself in the spotlight again and in demand for roles.

With nods from the Golden Globes, Scripter Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Oscar buzz behind it, Moneyball has become a popular choice among critics to be considered for best drama or best picture of the year awards. All this has done is create more opportunities for people to see Bishop do his thing portraying Justice, a one-time major league baseball star, on the big screen.

If you want to check out more of Bishop’s recent work, you can catch him starring in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “Safe House.”

Bishop, who played baseball in the minor league systems for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles, made a pit-stop for a  red carpet event at LA Live, hosted by the Hollywood Agency, to celebrate the People Choice Awards.

Bishop chatted for a few moments about what it was like to portray Justice and what the movie role has meant to his career. What’s so significant about your role in Moneyball?

SB: “It’s the biggest role in the biggest film; playing the biggest guy I played. David Justice is a friend of mine. He is a superstar athlete that I idolized as a young baseball player…In every stretch of the imagination this was an event for me.” How much did David Justice collaborate with you on this particular project?

SB: “Not a lot, because I knew David already. I’ve known David for quite some time. I knew him when I played with the Braves, when I was a rookie and he was a star. He took me under his wing. He was like a big brother to me. So, he didn’t have to do a whole lot. He did tell me a couple of things about where his mindset was at this particular time of his career. But as far as his mannerisms and things like that, I already knew him. It was a lot of fun for me to be able to transform into him.” Did you meet his approval on your portrayal of him?

SB: “I did…him and his wife. That’s the big part of it; if you can get pass the wife test, you know you did something good.” When you think about the People’s Choice Awards, what comes to mind?

SB: “The People’s Choice Awards is an opportunity for the people who pay their money to have a voice in who wins the awards they want to see. It’s a situation where you can gloat multiple times. When you have a situation where you have a movie like Moneyball going up against, let’s say, the movie that won in our category-Water for Elephants-you’re at the mercy of the fans. When you deal with somebody like Rob Patterson, who’s got throngs of young fans who can just sit in front of a computer screen and click, click, click, they’re going to make their voices heard. The youth is a powerful movement. I think it’s a great thing, I’m really glad that it kicked off the awards season, because it let the fans speak first. And now we get to see what the critics and the academy all think of what we did.” Moving forward, what has Moneyball done for your acting career?

SB:Moneyball has done great things for my career so…I’ve done the Save Thousand Battleships since Moneyball. I’ve done the Mentalist and Prime Suspect since Moneyball. And we’re just getting into pilot season now. I’m hoping it opens a lot of doors. The confidence I’ve gotten since working on it and being around such heavy hitters such as Brad (Pitt) and Jonah (Hill) and Phillip (Seymour Hoffman), and everybody else, has given me a lot of confidence in that I belong in this business and that I can play with the big boys.”

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1182 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a proud alum of Howard University.