Date: 21st April 2001
Billy CRYSTAL found directing new movie '61* his most emotional experience since entering the film business - even though the film is about baseball.
'61* is a saga about the home-run race between former baseball greats ROGER MANTIS and MICKEY MANTLE.
The WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... (1989) star says the TV film, which debuts in America on 28 April (01), brought back memories of childhood days spent with his father and brother at New York's YANKEE STADIUM. But what evoked his emotions most was being reminded of his 20-year friendship with Mantle, who died in 1995.
Crystal explains, "He told me, 'If they make a movie about my life, I want you to direct it.' It was an awesome responsibility to tell it right. "'61* is not a baseball movie, but a story of two men - failed heroes, fractured heroes - two guys who were hurting. They were competing against each other, but remained friends, and at the end, Mickey was able to say, 'You're a good man, Roger.'" (RGS/LADN/ES)