As a child rising up out of doors Philadelphia, Molly Ephraim used to be a “Phillies woman.” Her dad watched the baseball crew on TV, and her grandfather took her to their video games, the place she cheered for mullet-sporting first baseman John Kruk.
“I had a large adolescence weigh down on John Kruk,” Ephraim instructed The Post. “Not my kind now, however I beloved him.”
Still, in spite of her enthusiasm for her house crew, Ephraim didn’t care a lot in regards to the recreation itself.
“I couldn’t let you know what used to be if truth be told taking place,” the 36-year-old actress admitted. “I used to be extra prepared at the sizzling canines.”
So Ephraim truly needed to step as much as the plate for her position within the upcoming Amazon sequence, “A League of Their Own,” a by-product of the preferred 1992 film a couple of World War II-era ladies’s skilled baseball league. Ephraim performs Maybelle Fox, a fiery, fun-loving blonde who performs centerfield for the fictitious Rockford Peaches and is called after real-life legend Maybelle Blair.
Ephraim, a herbal brunette, had the excitement of having to grasp the feisty Blair, who seems within the pilot. She requested the 95-year-old if she had any tricks to assist get her within the zone or any superstitions she had surrounding the sport?
Blair’s solution: “Hot canines, sizzling canines, sizzling canines.”
“I believed, ‘This woman is aware of the right way to are living,” Ephraim mentioned. “We will have to all be 95 years previous and that sassy and simply downing sizzling canines. What an absolute dream.”
Maybelle’s no longer the famous person participant, however Ephraim nonetheless needed to discover ways to bat, catch, throw and run bases like a professional, attending 4 weeks of coaching camp along with her cast-mates, together with creator and famous person Abbi Jacobson, every other Phillies gal. Ephraim involved in perfecting Maybelle’s batting taste.
“I used to be truly training my swing, looking to make it truly sassy, get just a little wiggle in it,” she mentioned.
But by the point she were given to bat for the digicam — because of manufacturing delays — Ephraim used to be just about 8 months’ pregnant.
“I used to be humongous,” Ephraim mentioned. “I believe I did it 3 times, and I used to be like, ‘Oof, k, and we’re performed.’” Still, a type of takes used to be profitable sufficient to make the second one episode. “I used to be feeling very proud I were given that during there.”
The actress is used to taking giant swings. She moved to New York City from Bucks County, Penn., at 15 to make her Broadway debut. She put her performing profession on hiatus to check faith at Princeton. And she filmed no longer one however two TV sequence — “League” and Peacock’s “Angelyne” — whilst pregnant along with her first kid,
“The one distinction with ‘Angelyne’ used to be that during one of the vital scenes I if truth be told get to play a pregnant individual,” she mentioned. “I come from theater, and I love to act with my complete frame … It used to be undoubtedly a problem to be like, ‘Oh, no, I will be able to handiest be shot from right here up, or I’ve to search out an attitude [where the bump doesn’t show].”
Ephraim used to be born in 1986 in Philly, rooster moved to within reach Doylestown, Penn. Her folks ran a pet-supply retailer, and he or she and her brother stored an collection of animals — birds, canines, a snapping turtle, amphibious waterdogs — and went to 4-H presentations. “Small the town stuff,” she mentioned.
She were given into performing thru dance, in the end taking musical theater categories. For her tenth birthday, Ephraim requested her folks for an agent.
“They had been like, ‘Oh no, that is unhealthy, that is very unhealthy,’” she recalled. “They had been very supportive, but in addition that’s terrifying.”
Ephraim began doing group theater on the Bucks County Playhouse, enjoying Bielke, aka daughter No. 5, in “Fiddler at the Roof.” The actor who performed Tevye, Eddie Mekka, if truth be told had a small phase within the unique “A League of Their Own,” as Madonna’s swing-dance spouse. “We had been mucho inspired,” Ephraim mentioned. “It used to be like, ‘Oh my God, this man who performs our dad danced with Madonna!’”
When she used to be 15, the actress and her mother quickly moved right into a relative’s spare Manhattan studio so Ephraim may make her Broadway debut as Little Red Riding Hood in a 2002 manufacturing of “Into the Woods.”
“It used to be very quickly after September 11, and there used to be this feeling of unease,” Ephraim mentioned. “I have in mind getting on a subway automotive, and my mother used to be nonetheless at the platform, and we were given separated. I had by no means been away [from home], I used to be on this town, and we didn’t have cellphones.” She used to be petrified. “But then she discovered me on the subsequent station, and all used to be neatly.”
It used to be: Two years later, she returned to the Great White Way in “Fiddler at the Roof,” even staying by means of herself for a pair nights in Manhattan. After getting a faith stage at Princeton, she landed at the Tim Allen sitcom “Last Man Standing” instantly.
Early in 2021, Ephraim and her now-husband, Evan, who works at a instrument corporate, determined to check out to have a toddler. “I believe for a large number of other folks, the pandemic type of altered such a timing of items and the trajectory of existence occasions that they had been desirous about doing,” she mentioned. “And for us it used to be like, ‘OK, I’m able to have a child.’”
She had already shot the pilot for “A League of Their Own” and had a couple of months off earlier than the sequence would resume filming in early May in Los Angeles: “I didn’t wish to be too giant [when filming], however I additionally sought after to be most commonly previous my first trimester in case I used to be in poor health.”
Ephraim timed it completely, however then the manufacturing used to be moved again to overdue July in Pittsburgh, a long way from her house in LA. “Which is how I finished up with 4 baggage in entrance of my abdomen for lots of the capturing!
“They simply stored giving me increasingly more baggage, and increasingly more jackets and sweaters and knitting provides,” Ephraim recalled. It’s additionally why her personality is so frequently observed within the dugout, cleansing her glove. “Luckily, they didn’t need to type of modify my placement at the crew an excessive amount of. And I had some wonderful stunt and frame doubles.”
Despite always at the bench, she truly felt like a participant. “We did develop into type of teammates off and on the display,” she mentioned of her co-stars, including that they took a river cruise and he or she attended a Pirates-Phillies recreation with Jacobson and fellow Philly-native cast-mate Melanie Field. “We creamed them,” Ephraim boasted. “We had been this bawdy team of Philly ladies up there simply screaming and these kinds of Pirates [fans] taking a look again at us angrily.”
In September, Ephraim — then about seven months pregnant — and Evan determined to tie the knot. Her co-stars threw her a marvel bridal bathe earlier than she went to her folks’ seashore area for the rite. “We known as the pressure again to western Pennsylvania — dinner at a rest-stop Subway — our ‘honeymoon,’” she recalled. She endured filming in Pittsburgh till her physician ordered her again to LA earlier than the child’s start.
“I didn’t end up the entire capturing that I had meant to, however I additionally used to be like, ‘We were given to move! I don’t wish to have a toddler in midair!’”she mentioned. Her daughter, Zia, used to be born Dec. 1.
“I used to be so fortunate to paintings whilst pregnant and paintings such a lot whilst pregnant, so it’s additionally been great to only have a while with my child,” she mentioned. Ephraim has additionally wrapped up Season 2 of HBO’s gritty Perry Mason reboot, and within the interim is hoping for every other season of “League.”
“I don’t know when, the place, how that may occur, however I believe we’re all maintaining our palms crossed for that,” she mentioned. “I believe other folks will truly find it irresistible. You know, you get all of the lovers which can be type of grandfathered in from the unique film, but it surely undoubtedly speaks to a more moderen crowd.”
Photos: Joe Schmelzer; Stylist: Gaelle Paul/A-Frame; Hair: Ericka Verrett/A-Frame; Makeup: Loren Canby/A-Frame; Location: Dream Hollywood, 6417 Selma Ave