By Adam Kilgore
Tuesday, December 14, 2010; D02
Drew Storen had planned to spend Monday night with his parents in Indianapolis, back home after spending a semester this fall at Stanford. But he was about as far away from Indianapolis, metaphorically, as you can get. Storen, a Nationals reliever, was walking around Manhattan Beach, finding a place to get his hair cut in preparation for walking down the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere.
"I got a little bit of a college shag going on," Storen said. "I got to clean it up."
Having already ground out a quarter at Stanford, Storen will continue the incredible first offseason of his major league career Monday night by walking the red carpet at "How Do You Know," the romantic comedy that stars Owen Wilson as a Nationals relief pitcher who's dating Reese Witherspoon.
Sometime last week, as Storen finished exams, his agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, sent him a text message: How would you like to attend the premiere? "I said, 'Oh yeah, definitely,' " Storen said. "I've never been around that stuff. I think that stuff is really cool. I'd love to."
Wagonen, who also represents John Lannan and Ryan Zimmerman, works under the wide-reaching umbrella of CAA, which doubles as one of Hollywood's biggest agencies; Witherspoon is also a CAA client. "We at CAA felt like it was a great opportunity to collaborate between our entertainment division and sports division," Wagenen said.
So that's how Storen ended up in Los Angeles on Monday, and not Indianapolis. He has no idea what to expect. He grew up attending the Indy 500 every year with his father, a sports-talk radio host in Indianapolis. Sometimes, he would see movie stars riding around the oval. That's the closest he's ever been to a movie star.
"I'm trying to tell myself I don't need to be nervous," Storen said. "I'm just more fired up. 'Oh, that's really what they look like? That's awesome.' "
Storen seemed a little unclear on how, exactly, the whole night will work. He's going to some kind of VIP event afterward. Before the movie, he's going to meet a friend from CAA, and apparently he's going to go down the red carpet. I brought up the possibility of him appearing in an US Weekly-type tabloid. "Yeah, or just get in a background shot," Storen said. "I'd be fired up about that. That would be pretty awesome."
The movie itself interests Storen because of the baseball content. He heard the footage shot at Nationals Park includes a game pitched by John Lannan, and he wants to see if he can spot himself. Storen also plans to grade the nuances of the baseball scenes.
"I'm going to laugh," he said. "When I watch these baseball movies, I'm very critical. If something is a little off, it's like, 'That's not right. That undershirt is not something we wear.' "
Witherspoon's role also holds some special appeal for Storen. She, incidentally, also attended Stanford. And in this movie she's dating a Nationals relief pitcher, and how often do gorgeous actresses date Nationals relievers?
"Exactly," Storen said. "I think that's probably the realistic next step, that this movie is going to open that up for us."