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Baruchel & Chabot: Thesp moves into writing, scores with sports

10 Screenwriters to Watch 2011: Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot

Jay Baruchel thinks it’s ridiculous that he and writing partner Jesse Chabot wound up working on two sports movies back-to-back, the hockey comedy “Goon” and “Baseballissimo.”

While they’re big sports fans, “we’re are about as far away from (athletic) as you could possibly get,” says the Montreal native, best known for his roles as awkward young men in movies such as “She’s Out of My League” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The pair met in their hometown of Montreal when they were 15 and quickly became best friends and creative partners in crime, showing up at open mic nights to perform a surreal sketch they wrote in which Chabot played a robot and Baruchel a children’s TV show host.

“Hilarity ensued,” Baruchel recalls. “Or at least we thought so.”

Baruchel co-wrote “Goon” with Evan Goldberg (“Superbad,” “Pineapple Express”), but Goldberg was too busy to be on the set in Manitoba, Canada, so Baruchel — who also co-stars in the film with Seann William Scott — brought in Chabot to help him punch up dialogue on the fly.

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Chabot told Baruchel it was going to be hard to go back to working with his uncle in the furniture moving business. Baruchel promised his pal that his days hauling sofas would soon be over.

“Of course, nobody knew at this point that I wrote, period, and nobody knew Jesse from Adam,” Baruchel admits.

But not long after, Baruchel and Chabot were tapped by Rush bassist/lead singer Geddy Lee and producer David Miller to script a bigscreen adaptation of Dave Bidini’s book “Baseballissimo,” about the author’s 2002 visit to Nettuno, the baseball capital of Italy.

They’re now halfway through their first draft of the script of “Baseballissimo,” and there’s more to come from the duo.

“We have already come up with close to a dozen movies nobody knows about because we’ve been too busy working on other things,” says Baruchel, who has asked Chabot to be the best man at his wedding next year. “It’s a wonderful problem to have.”

Josh Appelbaum & Andrew Nemec | Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot | Justin Britt-Gibson | Neil Cross | Andrew Haigh | Kurt Johnstad | Lauryn Kahn | Paula Pell | Jon Spaihts | Brian Yorkey

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