Debra Winger on Madonna and A League of Their Own

Aug 16, 2021 14:15

Debra Winger has set the record straight over why she quit her starring role in the beloved baseball film, "A League of Their Own."
- USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 16, 2021

Debra Winger was once signed up to play the part of Dottie in the Penny Marshall film "A League of Their Own," but dropped out four weeks before production. Initial reports on her departure claimed "personal differences with the script."

However, in a new interview with The Telegraph, "she left the project when director Penny Marshall cast Madonna, accusing Marshall of making “an Elvis film” - not what she’d signed on to do."

Winger says Geena Davis (her replacement), "did ok." She adds, "I certainly don't begrudge any of them (Davis and other actors)."

Geena Davis was swiftly brought in after Winger departed with only several weeks to prepare for her role. Winger allegedly spent three months to work with Chicago Cubs.

In an interview in 1992, Davis says of replacing Winger, "It didn't make me feel weird. People don't realize it, but in almost every movie, that's the case. Probably every part I've done, it was given to somebody else first. I just had to work harder. I stayed later and had extra coaches for the catcher position. I'm slightly athletic, so I caught on."

In 1992, Lori Petty, who played Kit, Dottie's younger sister, said, "It's Debra's business why she left. It's between her and the studio. But she was gone and I was sweating bullets. Debra and I worked together for several weeks. We'd practised together. But now, I was thinking - What are we going to do?" She adds the two achieved a sisterly rapport, "We even looked alike--so I was kinda nervous."

Davis would later be nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the film.

As for Madonna, Winger says, "I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself."

Initially Davis had her own qualms with the casting of Madonna, saying in 2017, "She was Madonna. We wondered if we were going to be able to talk to her. Was she going to have an entourage? Were they going to put up walls around her where she stands." It turned out Madonna was in it for real. Davis adding, "That was painful. But she was so game. She was a trooper."

In regards for the finished film, Winger says, "as entertaining as [the finished film] was, you don't walk away going "Wow, those women did that." You kind of go "Is that true?"'

A League of Their Own went on to be the first Female Directed film to earn $100 Million.

SOURCE: TWITTER | The Star Phoenix Newspaper, September 4, 1992 | North County Times, June 26, 1992

1990s, celebrity feud, film - drama, madonna