‘Pitch’: Tyler Hilton on Joining His ‘Dream Show’ and Romancing Ginny
Is Pitch‘s Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) about to find a new love?
In this week’s episode of the Fox drama, the pitching phenom meets Noah (singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton), the CEO of a VFX company that specializes in motion capture for video games. Sparks fly between the duo, though “in the beginning she’s not thinking anything is going to happen,” Bunbury allows. “But once he asks her out, she considers it and they get along really well. It’s easy and fun, and he’s really charming.”
“I think for her, it’s really exciting,” she continues. “She’s always so focused on her work and being considered one of the guys. You’ve slowly seen Ginny’s progression into finding herself and finding her femininity and finding a balance in her life.”
Though in many ways the timing couldn’t be worse—it appeared that Padres catcher, Mike (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), had just started to acknowledge his own less-than-platonic feelings for his teammate at the end of the last episode—Bunbury is hopeful viewers will warm to Noah. “It’s going to be interesting to see what the fans are going to think,” she says. “I have a feeling people are also going to be rooting for Noah and Ginny. Tyler is so awesome and our chemistry is so great. But Noah’s character, specifically, is a really great fit for Ginny.”
Hilton, who was watching Pitch before he landed the role, feels the same way. He spoke with us about his love of the series, the passionate fan reaction, singing on the show and more.
Noah’s coming into Ginny’s life right when things had appeared to be shifting with Mike. What has the fan reaction been like since the news broke he was actually a love interest?
I’m a fan of the show: a big fan of the show. I was already watching it when I got the call that the producers wanted me to come in. I was nervous; normally I’m not watching the shows I go in for. I was really into it, and I’m rooting for Ginny and Mike and all of that.
But then it gets announced…I didn’t realize so many people were into Mike and Ginny until my Twitter started blowing up with all this hate stuff! Here’s the thing: I love that s–t, because I feel like any kind of engagement is exciting. Plus, on One Tree Hill—I was on the show for a while [as Chris Keller]—and I played this guy who broke up this really popular relationship. And I got the most s–t for it! I just got back from the road—I was in the Midwest—and still to this day, people come up to me and they’re like, “I hated you because you broke up Nathan and Haley.” So [the night the news broke], I’m sitting backstage and I’m reading these tweets, and I’m like, “You’re kidding me! How did I end up in a situation where I’m breaking up potentially another popular couple?”
I’m just saying this as a fan—I don’t know where this is going—but I was kind of thinking that I didn’t know if it was a thing where they were going to actually get [Mike and Ginny] together or more if it was an awkward thing that needed to happen and get out of the way. I don’t know. Who knows?
How is Noah fitting into the Pitch world?
I will say this, as a fan of the show…I love Ginny. I was always thinking, she has a classy vibe. Of course she’s not going to hook up with one of the baseball players, but who is she going to date? She’s all about her work, she’s around really driven people all the time she can’t hook up with. I was really curious, as a fan, who does Ginny belong with? And then I read this character, and par for the course with this show, they have written the sweetest, most adorable loving character. When I read it on paper, I was so happy for her. Even though I was going to be the guy who was playing it, he is the sweetest guy. He is so self-deprecating and all about her.
He’s a billionaire and got really successful at a young age from this motion capture tech company. He’s no stranger to feeling alienated from the rest of society. It felt like they have this cool thing in common. They’re so sweet together. It’s just like the sweetest character ever. As a fan of this show, I could not be more stoked to play this guy. As a fan, I would be so excited to see it. I think once everyone sees it, they’ll be super stoked, truthfully. And I always play a–holes, too! But I love him. He’s so sweet.
Is he immediately smitten with Ginny?
He is. But how could you not [be]? But I’m sure, truthfully—and this is just me as a fan saying this—I’m sure all of the players on the team are. Who is not going to be in love with Ginny Baker? I think he’s like every guy who meets her: she’s amazing, but she’s out of my league. And rightfully so; she’s so driven and so smart. Those kinds of qualities in a person are so attractive, guy or girl, romantically or not, she’s inspiring.
What is his take on Mike?
They don’t have that much interaction. You see in the first scene this dude doesn’t know anything about baseball. He doesn’t know anything about sports, which makes it even more hilarious. You’ll see he has some questions about Mike, because I think some people told him to ask her some things. He has no idea what he’s saying. He doesn’t know anything about baseball.
How does Ginny react to his lack of sports knowledge?
I feel like she’s kind of charmed by it. I feel like you and I have seen this with actresses, where you see them dating these dudes who have nothing to do with the movie business. It’s just refreshing to be around someone who doesn’t work with you. For her, I think it’s part of the appeal. Seeing someone who is so clueless to what she does must be so refreshing.
Has he seen her pitch in what you filmed for this season?
So far, they haven’t done any baseball stuff, but he’s making this video game. That’s as far as it goes with the baseball thing.
Is there anyone else in his life we get to meet in this arc?
No, you don’t. It’s pretty much him and Ginny. I have some interactions with some of the crew that comes down to our motion capture studio, [but] it’s really focused on Noah and Ginny. You haven’t seen Ginny be in any [present-day] relationship yet. It’s really sweet. As I’m reading these things, you want this so bad for her as a fan, because you’re like, this is so good for her. I feel like I got to learn so much about the character of Ginny in the episodes I did. It’s just a side of her we haven’t seen…it’s nice to see her treated so well.
You’re also singing your new song in next week’s season finale. How did that come about?
I’ve got this single coming out on December 6 called “Next to You.” Initially, the character wasn’t supposed to be a musician, but the producers ended up being a fan of my music, which I didn’t know until I came in for the chemistry read. And they were so cool. Out of nowhere, they said we’d love to rewrite this stuff and have you sing on the show if you’re into it. This is really random, and I would have never mentioned I was putting out this song or anything, but they went on YouTube and watched a bunch of interviews with me and a bunch of my performances. They found this song and they loved it.
It was just this complete synchronicity—normally there’s a cynical pitch. There was something magical happening, down to me being a fan from Episode 1, watching it live on Thursday nights…the whole thing has been a dream come true. The only bummer is I’m only in the last two episodes. They’re nominated for a People’s Choice Award, and I’m trying to get everyone to vote, because please let this show come back. I’m literally on my dream show. The cast is amazing. I’m getting to be a star on a show I’m already into. Please don’t let this end after two episodes.
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Does Noah actually serenade Ginny? Or is there anything else you can share about why we hear him singing?
I don’t want to get in trouble! I don’t want to say. But I will get to say I did get to sing a lot of the song. We filmed the song a million times, and I performed it live. So they recorded it live as I was filming rather than lip syncing. And the great thing is Paris Barclay is an executive producer of the show and he’s also a director on it; he’s also a freaking legendary music video director—[worked with] Bob Dylan and all these people—so he was stoked, because we’re doing the finale together and he shot this thing like a music video. It was beautiful. I’m excited to see it. This could be this fun little moment.
If the show returns for a second season, is the arc left open for you to possibly come back?
They have been super cool and said they would love to have me back. Obviously, whether that works out or not is still so up in the air for so many things. I just signed on for another show called His Wives & Daughters on CMT. But I asked them, “I’m doing this other show called Pitch and I’m really into it. Is there any way I could do both?” And they said I could. I’ve left the door open to do more. It seems like if the stars keep aligning, all we need is another season.
The cast is a special kind of vibe. Everyone is cool. I think it comes down from Kylie. It’s always the lead of the show that sets the tone, the vibe, and man, she is the coolest. Everyone you can tell is obsessed with her: the crew, the cast. Everyone has such a sweet warm vibe, and you can feel that if you’re new from the outside. Because everyone has the opportunity to be a dick to you if you want. They could not be cooler to me. It makes me even more hopeful that this keeps going.
Pitch, Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox