In The Phenom, Johnny Simmons plays a burgeoning MLB pitcher whose throwing arm begins to fall apart — but it’s not due to a physical condition.
“They call it the Yips. It happens in musicians. I think it happens in actors as well. There’s no real way to cure it, and they don’t know what brings it on,” Simmons said during a visit to Deadline’s Tribeca Film Festival Studio.
“Even naming it, can put an association with it where you have an inadequacy, and the more you think about it, the more difficult it becomes to perform simple tasks on the baseball field,” adds The Perks Of Being A Wallflower actor.
In The Phenom directed by Noah Buschel, Simmons’ Hopper Gibson seeks help from an unorthodox sports therapist played by Paul Giamatti. It’s soon realized that Gibson’s verbally abusive father played by Ethan Hawke could be at the root of the pitcher’s problems.
“In the locker room, you don’t talk about it,” said Simmons about the performance anxiety condition. He said he related to his character’s struggles from an actor’s POV, particularly when it comes to auditioning.
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