Interview by Carol Wright | Photographer: Andrew Steinman
We got to chat with up-and-coming Alex J. Montero about his lead role in The Kid Who Only Hit Homers and his advice for aspiring actors.
Was there a particular movie or television show that sparked your interest in acting?
I can’t say there was a specific movie or television show that sparked my interest in acting. I definitely have favorite movies and shows that I watch over and over again. But, ever since I can remember I am fascinated by movies, tv shows, and plays. I love hearing, telling, and writing stories. I especially love how characters evolve in the story. As I watch movies, I also really like studying how actors bring their characters to life.
What made you want to be a part of The Kid Who Only Hit Homers?
When I received the audition, I really felt a connection to the character of Syl. Syl is really likable, hardworking, and passionate about baseball. He really cares about his friends and wants to make his dad proud, but struggles in believing in himself. He is a bit of an underdog and it’s fun to see an underdog succeed.
The Kid Who Only Hit Homers is based on a popular book series. Did you read any of the books to prepare?
I did read the book that inspired the movie. Mainly, because once I got the role and became familiar with the script, I realized how much making this movie meant to so many people. Sadly, the author of the book, Matt Christoper, is no longer with us. But, I did meet his two sons, Dale and Duane, and they were so happy to see their father’s book finally made into a movie. It was something Matt Christopher had always wanted. They spent a couple of days on set with all of us. It really was an honor for me to have been chosen to play the part of Syl.
Are there similarities between you and your character Syl?
Both my character, Syl, and I are in middle school and even though I don’t play baseball, my passion for acting is a lot like Syl’s passion for baseball. I really was able to relate to how much it meant for my character to do well in what he loved the most. Also, like me, Syl is surrounded by really supportive family and friends that keep him grounded.
Did you and your castmates have training or baseball practice to help you prepare for the role?
We did receive some training for the role. Marti Sementelli who played the role of Coach Brittney in the movie happens to be one of the best women baseball players and she trained the cast prior to the start of filming. She is a member of the United States Women’s National Baseball Team. Her pitch is so fast you can’t even see the ball as it passes over the plate.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
Keep at it. There are a lot of auditions you might not land but don’t take that personally. Like my character, Syl would say “Never quit on yourself.”
Keep up with Alex here!