The 27-year-old Canadian actress makes her debut on Fox’s baseball drama Pitch as Ginny Baker, the first female pitcher in Major League Baseball. Recruited by the San Diego Padres, Ginny goes on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to balance her family’s expectations and her own professional aspirations amid clubhouse conflict.
Bunbury’s arresting performance was why she was named one of ET’s fall TV breakout stars, and we surprised her with the award while she was filming on location at Los Angeles’ iconic Dodger Stadium.
“Oh my gosh, what? Wow, this is really sweet. I feel like I’m going to cry,” Bunbury said, breaking down in tears upon receiving the award. “This is cool. I really appreciate it. Why would you make me cry?!”
Bunbury made a splash as one of the stars of ABC Family’s little-watched mystery saga, Twisted, but Pitch will be her coming-out party. Her Pitch co-stars agree.
“You guys are perfect prophets,” Mark Consuelos said, while Mark-Paul Gosselaar called Bunbury “a special, special woman.” “You watch her on screen and she just melts you,” he marveled.
Bunbury hopes audiences will gravitate toward Pitch, premiering Thursday, for its inspirational and heart-wrenching tale, which charts how Ginny’s journey as a young girl leads her to the present day.
“It has a lot of heart,” she said. “You feel good and I think right now, with everything that is going on in the world, we need television and film like that -- things that inspire and empower and Pitch definitely inspires and definitely empowers.”
The former model, who was among hundreds to audition for the role of Ginny, trained hard to get into baseball shape.
“It’s been boot camp,” Bunbury said. “I had two and a half months to learn how to pitch before the pilot. I am boxing three days a week and just getting the body right and tight.”
So far, so good. Even though Ginny’s debut in the baseball pros is rocky at best, Bunbury says her alter ego’s “already got swagger.”
“You’re really getting to see her come into her own skin and be a little bit more vocal,” she said of future episodes. “Because she is being pushed and pulled in a lot of different directions, she is still figuring out who she is, so you’re getting to see her strength.”
Bunbury also understands the significance of playing the first female MLB pitcher on the small screen.
“I am completely honored that I am getting to play this. This entire group has put their belief in me to play this character. It means a lot. That’s why I am putting the work in,” she said. “I want to be a good actress, I want to be a good person and I want to play baseball.”