"Pitch" Star Kylie Bunbury On Why Young Girls Need to See Complex Female Characters On TV
Finally: female ballers! In Pitch, Fox’s new, sporty drama, Kylie Bunbury, 27, brings the heat playing the first female pitcher in the majors. Here, she talks about where her swagger comes from, how the show is breaking barriers, and more.
GLAMOUR: First off, you nail the pro-athlete cocky walk.
KYLIE BUNBURY: I don’t want to brag and say I have natural swagger, because my brothers would tell you I’m a total dork. [My character, Ginny, is] confident because she’s worked really hard — when you work that hard and you get to this level, I think you naturally carry yourself with more confidence. But I was a tomboy growing up, so I think I naturally take on a little male swagger.
GLAMOUR: Your dad is an athlete. How has sports played a role in your life up until this point?
KB: The dynamic in the show between me and my father is very similar to the dynamic between my father and my brother, so I got to witness it firsthand. I knew my brother had incredible work ethic. When it comes to sports, it requires a lot mentally and physically. Ginny is me in these imaginary circumstances. Then coupled with the fact that I grew up in an athletic family, it just really fit. I’m just feel so grateful to get to portray this character; she’s so inspiring.
GLAMOUR: How did you learn your form? It’s legit.
KB: It was really important for me to look as authentic as possible. They put me with former pro baseball players and had me pitching three to four days a week. It started off with me learning the dry mechanics — you know, how do you actually throw a baseball? [Laughs] I never played baseball before. And then [I practiced] long tossing to get my arm strength up, so it looks like I have some velocity when I’m on the mound. Boxing really helped too. And I watched a lot of baseball and pitchers. I played basketball, I ran track, and also played soccer. I think that I am naturally athletic.
GLAMOUR: Why is it important for this show to happen now?
KB: Young girls need to see women who are strong and vulnerable and complex onscreen. Ginny is a complex female character, which I think is really important; you’re getting a human being. She’s not a superhero. She’s a regular person who has extraordinary focus, determination, and courage, and she’s overcoming adversity. I think it’s really important for young girls to see that. We benefit from seeing strong women on screen. We have to uplift and empower each other, and that’s what this show does.
GLAMOUR: When you tell people what the show is about, do men and women react differently?
KB: My friends tell me there are men who say the show shoves feminism down people’s throats. But lots of [women] say, “Oh, is that based on a true story?” Like it might have happened already. To think that we’ve come that far, that it’s in the realm of possibility for them, that’s exciting.