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Thomas Jane Reveals His All-Time Favorite Role That's 'Very Special' To Him - Exclusive

If there's one thing you can say about Thomas Jane, it's that he has avoided being pigeonholed during the course of his career. Since his start in 1992's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the veteran actor has tackled everything from the smart shark popcorn flick "Deep Blue Sea" and Marvel anti-hero movie "The Punisher" to such critically acclaimed fare as "Boogie Nights" and the subversive HBO series "Hung."

Jane's most recent film, "Murder at Yellowstone City," sees him starring as a 19th-century preacher with a dark past who gets caught up in a small-town murder mystery in which he thinks the accused is innocent. Co-starring Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, and Isaiah Mustafa, the unassuming Western is now in theaters and available on demand and digital.

But of all his appearances in film and on TV, one project stands out above the rest to Jane, who revealed his all-time favorite role during an exclusive interview with Looper.

Playing Mickey Mantle was a career 'highlight' for Jane

With so many projects to choose from, Thomas Jane's favorite role so far in his career may come as a surprise: a niche made-for-TV baseball film from 2001.

"My favorite experience was shooting '61*,' which is a baseball film directed by Billy Crystal," said Jane. "I got to train with Reggie Smith. We got to play baseball all day and make a movie. That was a highlight. It's also a very good film. It was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a few years ago in Cooperstown. It's well appreciated amongst baseball aficionados."

As Mickey Mantle, Jane stars alongside Barry Pepper as Roger Maris as the pair attempt to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record during the New York Yankees' 1961 season.

"We worked hard to get it right and make sure the actors looked like they knew what the hell they were doing," said Jane. "Billy recreated each play, each inning of that season, 1961. Billy knew it all from the Yankees' perspective, backward and forward. Every single inning and every base hit, every fly ball — those are all recreations of an actual event from the actual season of the Yankees in 1961. That was really, really special."

Jane's latest film, "Murder at Yellowstone City," is now in theaters and available on demand and digital.