SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — It’s been 30 years since the beloved classic film “The Sandlot” first hit theaters. Today, ahead of their anniversary events in Salt Lake City, the cast joined Good Things Utah to chat about their memories of filming and life after its release.
The group reportedly grew close during filming and tried to make the most of it.
“For the most part, we just enjoyed being out there playing baseball and making fun of each other in between takes, just being kids, and we happened to be making a movie around it,” says Victor DiMattia, who played Timmy Timmons in the film.
Despite the group’s close bond, there were still reportedly some heated exchanges on set, according to Shane Obedzinski, a.k.a. Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons.
During filming, he remembers, “I got into it with one of the boys and gave him a good old punch in the face on set…10 minutes later, we were hugging like brothers again.”
This bond led to plenty of fond memories, including those caught on film.
“It was a long summer, but we had a blast doing it,” remarks Chauncey Leopardi, best known for his role as Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous.
Leopardi also recalled his excitement, then 11 years old, ahead of filming the famous scene in which he devises a plan to “lock lips” with lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn — played by actress Marley Shelton — as she revives him near the pool.
“I think I was really excited,” he comments. “The director tells us now that I kept asking him when we’re going to shoot the scene. It’s the first kiss that gets to live forever.”
Today, with die-hard fans around the world, the cast is hugely grateful for the way the film has been celebrated over the years.
“It’s a really humbling thing to have something that you did at 12 years old live on forever in the film… It’s been really nice to grow up with the guys but [also] grow up with everybody who watched the film,” says Grant Felt, who played Bertram Grover Weeks.
With movie buffs around the state and beyond commemorating the film’s 30th anniversary this season, the cast looks forward to meeting everyone whose lives have been touched by its characters and storyline.
According to Marty York behind the role of Alan ‘Yeah-Yeah’ McClennan: “It’s been awesome — from the fans, Major League Baseball players, and all these huge athletes — just to meet and have them tell us how much the movie means to them.”
Utahns will have several opportunities to meet and greet cast members this weekend.
On Friday, August 4, much of the cast will be attending the Salt Lake Bees game at Smith’s Ballpark, where they’ll be taking photos with fans and signing posters, with a post-game firework show at night.
The next day, on August 5, the cast will reunite once again on the original sandlot field at 1124 S Navajo Street in Salt Lake City to meet with visitors, answer questions, and join in on a screening of “The Sandlot” after dark.