The new film “The Hill,” starring Colin Ford and Dennis Quaid, follows the inspiring journey of Rickey Hill, a young boy who overcomes physical challenges to become a baseball legend. During an interview with Ford, conducted before the SAG strike, the versatile young actor most recently seen in the Netflix series “Monster” shared his thoughts on the project, working with co-star Dennis Quaid, and the underlying faith-based themes that run through the film.
While his acting resumé is extensive, “The Hill” holds a special place in Ford’s heart. When first introduced to the script, he was immediately captivated by the real-life story.
“I’d never heard of Rickey Hill and his story before having a chance to read the script. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how, how come I’ve never heard of this guy. This is crazy,” Ford said.
The process of getting attached to the film involved callbacks and training. Ford shared that he had about three months of baseball training before filming began. He wanted to accurately portray Hill’s dedication to the sport and his journey to success. The film’s realism was further ensured by Hill himself, who provided insights and guidance on Ford’s portrayal of his character’s baseball skills.
A highlight of the film for Ford was working alongside co-star Dennis Quaid, a Hollywood veteran with an impressive filmography. “It’s not often that you get to work with the folks that you look up to your entire life. So, I was truly blessed,” Ford noted. The on-screen father-son dynamic between Ford and Quaid was a key element of the movie, adding depth and emotional resonance to the narrative.
“The Hill” touches on themes of faith and resilience, capturing Rickey Hill’s unwavering belief in himself and the guiding force that he feels when swinging the bat. Ford emphasized the connection between Ricky’s faith and his performance on the baseball field. “I think that his faith and baseball are inextricably linked,” he stated.
Ford added, “I think that Rickey’s belief in himself is linked with his faith. I think that Rickey truly believes that when he swings the bat, there’s another power that’s guiding the bat along with him.”
Ford also revealed the sometimes painful process of embodying Hill’s character, particularly during a scene that required him to recreate the physical pain Ricky experienced after surgery. To accurately convey the pain, Ford placed rocks in the bottom of his cleats and ran around the bases.
“I didn’t love it, but it certainly added to Rickey’s pain and what he was going through at that time, which I thought lends itself to the screen really well,” he said.
As someone who has portrayed diverse characters throughout his career, Ford acknowledged the unique opportunity “The Hill” presents in conveying meaningful themes to the audience. The film highlights the importance of not underestimating individuals based on their perceived limitations. It celebrates Ricky Hill’s determination and resilience in the face of challenges.
In addition to “The Hill,” Ford can also be seen in 1000 Tomorrow’s,” available on Pure Flix.
“The Hill,” directed by Jeff Celentano and starring Colin Ford and Dennis Quaid, releases in theaters Friday.