See Squints From "The Sandlot" Now at 41
Former child actor Chauncey Leopardi played the amorous baseball player 30 years ago.
Fans of 1993's The Sandlot will always remember the period sports movie for The Beast, the signed Babe Ruth baseball, and the famous line, "You're killing me, Smalls!" Another memorable moment comes courtesy of the character Michael "Squints" Palledorous, who was played by Chauncey Leopardi. In order to get mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from his crush, lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn (Marley Shelton), Squints fakes drowning in the pool as his worried friends look on.
"My favorite scene was the pool scene," Leopardi said when asked by a fan at a Sandlot reunion event in 2019. "Well, you always remember your first kiss, right?"
These days, the coming-of-age movie is a cult classic. And while Leopardi is now 41, a new generation of kids are enjoying the movie he made nearly 30 years ago—and learning from it, too. Read on to find out more.
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He had many roles throughout the '90s.
When The Sandlot was released, Leopardi was 12 years old. Throughout the '90s, he spent the rest of his teen years acting in various TV shows and movies. He was in Boy Meets World, Casper, 7th Heaven, and Walker, Texas Ranger, to name a few projects. In 1999 and 2000, he had a recurring role as bully Alan White on Freaks and Geeks. Also in the early '00s, he played Kyle on several episodes of Gilmore Girls.
His acting career has slowed.
Leopardi doesn't act as much anymore as he id in his teens and 20s. His most recent on-screen role was in the music video for Logic's song "Homicide" in 2019. In 2013, he was in the movie Coldwater. He also reprised the role of Squints in the 2007 movie The Sandlot: Heading Home.
Recently, Leopardi has been working in a far different area: marijuana growing and sales, which is legal in California. According to LA Weekly, this has included working with other brands. His line is named after his character and called Squintz, and he even named one product after Squints' crush, Wendy Peffercorn.
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He's a dad.
Leopardi went from a child star to having kids of his own—and they've all seen The Sandlot. In a 2018 interview with the San Antonio Current, he shared, "I have a 16-year-old daughter who saw it when she was five or six. I also have a two-year-old and a three-month-old, and they actually watched it a couple of days ago. Their mom sent me a picture of them with their grandma sitting on the couch watching it. I think they were into it, so that's good."
He's reunited with his co-stars.
The Sandlot cast has reunited multiple times, including on Today in 2018 and in a virtual reunion in 2020.
"Any time we get to stop what we're doing in our normal lives and come together to hang out is great," he told the San Antonio Current. "It's like getting together with family. We've gotten together a lot more lately since the film continues to pick up speed as time goes on and gets even more popular."
His most famous scene saved a life.
Earlier this year, two boys, with the help of their friend, saved their father's life when he was drowning in their pool. They said they learned what to do from watching the CPR scene in The Sandlot.
Leopardi was asked about the situation by Today, and said, "That's just incredible. You know, like, here we are, 30 years later, and something that someone saw that we did 30 years ago saved their father's life. I mean, it just, it makes you want to tear up because it's such a beautiful thing, and wherever we get the information from, it's great. So to be the force that helped them do that for their father, you know, I'll never forget it."
As for whether the CPR-turned-kiss scene holds up today, he told the San Antonio Current, "It should be behavior that is frowned upon at any time. But I think the movie was very wholesome even though it was kind of risqué. Obviously, it's not what you want to teach your children, but it wasn't meant to be creepy in any way either."