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Million Dollar Arm Film Facts

Filmmaking Facts

• “Million Dollar Arm” is based on a true story.

• Filming occurred on location in India, as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California.

• Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Tom McCarthy (“Up”) spent two weeks in India traveling in the footsteps of JB Bernstein, the real-life sports agent depicted in “Million Dollar Arm.”

• Jon Hamm was the production team’s first choice to play the lead role of JB Bernstein.

John Hamm MDA

• Suraj Sharma, who plays Rinku, previously starred in Ang Lee’s award-winning “Life of Pi.”

• Madhur Mittal, who was cast as Dinesh, starred in the international hit, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

• “Million Dollar Arm” began principal photography in India, where the company shot for almost three weeks.

• Filming began in Mumbai, the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashta, the most populous city in India and with approximately 20.5 million residents. It is the fourth most populated city in the world.

• The company traveled progressively inland, to Lucknow, the capitol city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, where they decamped for several days at Lucknow University, to film the scenes in which Rinku and Dinesh win “The Million Dollar Arm” competition.

• They ended their stay in Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

• During filming, daily temperatures reached approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit and hit those triple digits by mid-morning.

• The filmmakers had no choice but to shoot in the spring, the country’s hottest season, due to a need to avoid the summer monsoons.

Million Dollar Arm

• Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mital, who play Rinku and Dinesh, respectively, had to learn to play baseball.

• Baseball experts put Sharma and Mittal on an accelerated training program, both on and off the field. When shooting wrapped each day, Sharma and Mittal hit the gym for a couple hours and drank special protein drinks throughout to keep their energy and weight up.

• One of their very first pitching coaches was the real Dinesh Patel – the production enlisted him to tutor Sharma and Mittal in all things baseball even before production landed in India.

• Major League Baseball player Mark Ellis (St. Louis Cardinals) and former Minor League player Mike Ribaudo served as baseball coordinator and pitching coach, respectively.

• The real-life JB Bernstein has represented such prominent sports icons as Barry Bonds, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Wayne Gretzky.

• JB Bernstein achieved a Ph.D in physics and is pursuing a second Ph.D.

• JB Bernstein continues to produce “The Million Dollar Arm” competition in India.

• JB Bernstein married Brenda, portrayed in the movie by Lake Bell. They live in Las Vegas with
their daughter.

 

Facts are courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

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