Q+A Jon Favreau

The actor-director-writer (Swingers) plays a sports agent in Wimbledon, which opens on Friday.
September 19, 2004

SI: How much do you know about tennis?

Favreau: I know how to keep score. But I grew up in Forest Hills, so it was part of my world. My friends worked at the U.S. Open. They would get me Jimmy Connors's left-behind shirts. One sleeve was always bigger than the other.

SI: You're the host of IFC's Dinner for Five. Which four athletes would you invite for the ultimate sports dinner?

Favreau: Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Johnny Blood and Anna Kournikova. We'd be serving a lot of hot dogs for the Bambino, and I figure there's enough personality and stories there that we can have something to look at.

SI: You're an avid poker player. Are you a good one?

Favreau: I play online a lot--unfortunately. Don't ask if they send you money if you win, because I wouldn't know.

SI: You've appeared in several sports films, such as Rudy and The Replacements. What is their appeal?

Favreau: They have a lot of heart. If you can effectively weave together the personal story with the greater sports story, both storylines benefit from it. It's Rudy's journey that you like, and when he's able to sack the quarterback, you feel it all coming together in that one moment.

SI: Is there one sports story you'd want to write or direct?

Favreau: The Babe. I auditioned for the younger version of him in [1992's] The Babe. And Red Grange hasn't been explored fully yet.

SI: You're the man on IFC. James Lipton is Bravo's guy. You played Rocky Marciano, so why not go a few rounds?

Favreau: I don't take him lightly. He's a tenacious man. Inside the Actors Studio is the show you make fun of until they ask you do it. Then you get nervous and act like a blushing schoolgirl. --Richard Deitsch

COLOR PHOTOGREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE.COM (FAVREAU) COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF WARNER BROTHERS/ZUMA PRESS (FAVREAU IN UNIFORM)

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