Tatum O’Neal reflects on legacy of Bad News Bears: ‘It’s just so wrong on so many levels’

The next edition of Costas at the Movies features the classic, Bad News Bears (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, MLB Network).

Bob Costas sits down with Tatum O’Neal to recall the movie and its legacy. Then the movie follows.

Here’s same excerpts of the interview from MLB Network:

Tatum O’Neal on preparing for the role of Amanda Whurlitzer:

“I took three months of heavy-duty pitching lessons.”

Tatum O’Neal on Walter Matthau:

“He was so talented. I’m just so lucky to have worked with him. He could do anything and he knew exactly how to do this role. He knew exactly how to just be a complete mess.”

Tatum O’Neal on her character:

“It’s so funny because I have a group of 48-year old men, like Vince Vaughn…who have posters of “Bad News Bears,” Jason Patric, Quentin Tarantino. There’s a group of people, mostly men, who think that character of Amanda Whurlitzer is the most appealing little girl at that age…It must be a toughness with a little femininity.”

Tatum O’Neal on being visited in the hospital by Matthau after a car accident:

“A couple of years later, when I turned about 15, I had a car accident. Lumbering down the hall was Walter, he said, ‘Kid, I just had to come in and see that you were all right.’ I can’t say that was true for every actor I’ve worked with…It was a pretty special moment for me, one that I will never forget.”

Tatum O’Neal on the relationship between Amanda and Coach Buttermaker in the film:

“It’s so real. You see the camaraderie that Walter and I had in the same way really that me and my father did at the time.”

Tatum O’Neal on the film’s legacy:

“It’s so funny. It’s so sweet. It’s sweet and, yet, it’s completely wrong. It’s just so wrong on so many levels.”


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