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Can you imagine A League of Their Own without Geena Davis as the confident, no-nonsense leader Dottie? Well, it almost happened!
That alternate universe casting? Debra Winger.
Winger was a HUGE star throughout the 1980s, scoring an amazing three Oscar nominations for Best Actress in just 11 years with an incredible run of films that included Urban Cowboy, An Officer And A Gentleman, and Terms Of Endearment. If you don’t know the name, it’s because she famously walked away from Hollywood in 1995, only returning years later for the odd role here and there.
But at that time she was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It was at her height that she was hired to play the lead role of catcher Dottie in the 1992 classic about female baseball players recruited to keep the big leagues going during World War II. She had the role so long she even had time to prep with the Chicago Cubs for THREE MONTHS.
So what happened??
In a perhaps too-candid interview with The Telegraph over the weekend, Debra revealed she’d quit after learning director Penny Marshall had hired Madonna, who was also providing the film’s original song over the end titles, This Used To Be My Playground, to play outfielder Mae.
Seriously? Just hiring Madonna was that problematic?? Even at that time Her Madgesty had done enough acting to be taken seriously, right?! Not to this Academy Award nominee. She accused Marshall of turning the project into “an Elvis film” — presumably referring to those old vehicles that had been thrown together as an excuse to sell kids tickets to see Elvis Presley sing.
Wow. That was hardly the case. Madonna is actually really great in the film, one of her best performances. She isn’t playing “Madonna” at all.
That wasn’t the only criticism Winger had of the beloved film either. She thinks most of the actresses didn’t train enough to properly honor the real-life players she’d met:
“As entertaining as was, you don’t walk away going, ‘Wow, those women did that.’ You kind of go, ‘Is that true?’”
Damn. She admits her replacement Geena Davis “did OK” and that Lori Petty, who played her little sister Kit was great, but that’s about it. Though she doesn’t think it was their fault, saying:
“I certainly don’t begrudge any of them.”
Of course not, she thinks Penny Marshall didn’t care enough to make it real because she was just going to make it fluff and hire Madonna.
Yowza. As for her thoughts on Madonna’s acting in the film? Her most savage statement of all:
“I think acting career has spoken for itself.”
Ho. Lee. S********t.
That is the most savage thing we’ve heard in a long time!
What do YOU think about Debra Winger’s commentary on A League Of Their Own? Do you think she has a point? Or are you glad she didn’t end up in the movie after all?
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