The kid who stole our hearts as Ham in The Sandlot is all grown up! Patrick Renna reminisced with Us Weekly about his most memorable childhood roles and talked about his latest project, Bad Roomies, on which he served as both an actor and a producer.
1. He was just a normal kid… while he was filming one of the most nostalgia-inducing movies of a generation.
“I don’t even necessarily remember the filming as much as I remember the times we didn’t film. Like on Sandlot, I remember hanging out on our off days and running around with all the guys and raising hell in Salt Lake City and going to movies, you know, and things like that.”
2. He’s the reason we all say, “You’re killing me, Smalls!”
“Some of my very close friends, once in a while, they’ll accidentally slip and say it because it has sort of just become a line that people say without even realizing what they’re saying it from, so they’ll say it and we’ll both look at each other and kind of chuckle a bit.”
3. He had no idea that he met Darth Vader until long after The Sandlot was done filming.
“Even filming it, you have this wonderful actor come on set by the name of James Earl Jones, and we’re going, ‘Who?!’ And 20 years later you go, ‘Oh my God. I was in a movie with a) Darth Vader and b) one of the best actors of all time!’”
4. He understands everyone’s love for The Sandlot.
“I liken it to how The Goonies is to me because that’s my Sandlot. If I saw any of the actors from The Goonies, I would freak out more than I would freak out if I saw Brad Pitt.”
5. He learned about ladies from ‘90s funnyman Pauly Shore on the set of Son In Law.
“There was a shot I was doing in a barn and he made [Tiffani Thiessen] come over and lay down next to me and kind of wink at me. I was definitely old enough to get very red in the face! They were all very sweet, but it was my first real experience with beautiful women, so that’s what I remember from Son In Law.”
6. He played goalie for “the worst soccer team to ever hit the field” in The Big Green.
“Big Green was great because it was the first time that I had worked so closely with an adult actor like Steve Guttenberg … We had all of the kids and then Steve, so it was a different experience and I was starting to get older and really understand the industry, so that movie to me was probably the first one where I really started looking at how movies are made.”
7. He teamed up with Jessica Alba to show bullies who’s boss in P.U.N.K.S.
“We were both there auditioning and we even grabbed a bite after, and then we ended up working together.”
8. He made appearances in our favorite shows, including Salute Your Shorts, Boy Meets World, Home Improvement, The X-Files, and ER.
“When you do a TV show, you’re there for like a week, and you’re there with Tim Allen and it’s intimidating. He was really nice, but you know, you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Tim Allen!’”
9. He’s a mama’s boy.
“She managed me early on in my career when I was younger and just has never stopped doing it… I call my mom when I need advice.”
10. He loves his wife, Jasmin, who is credited as a consultant on Bad Roomies.
“We’re a great team, and who better to work with than your best friend? She’s always the biggest cheerleader and my favorite person to do anything with.” (Aww!)
11. And he’s ready for a new addition!
“We’re talking family, so there will hopefully be a couple mini-Hams out there! … We haven’t yet, but at least we’re in talks! We’re negotiating!”
12. He’s a hard worker and gave his full attention to Bad Roomies during filming…
“We’d act for 10 to 12 hours a day, then we’d produce for four, five, six hours a day, and then we’d sleep… a little bit.”
13. …But has fun while he does it by keeping his friends close.
“Justin [Mooney], the writer, was the best man at my wedding and I was in his, and Tommy [Savas, his costar] and I have been very close friends for just as long. Tommy and I have worked together a bunch, and then we all are very close with Jason [Schnell, the director] as well, so I think it wasn’t anything out of the normal. I think generally being around each other as much as we are, there’s always a funny story, so we kind of just brought it to set.”
14. He’s so dedicated to his craft that he insisted on actually getting kicked during a fight scene.
“You know, I was Mr. Tough Guy going, ‘Make it look real. Kick me,’ and I regretted it the next day. Boy, did I regret it.” The fight scene was closely monitored by a stunt coordinator… who happens to be the same stunt coordinator Michael Bay uses for his films.
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