Debra Winger: I Quit Movie After Madonna Was Cast

She says it turned 'A League of Their Own' into an 'Elvis film'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2021 1:43 PM CDT
Debra Winger: Here's Why I Quit A League of Their Own
Debra Winger during a performance of the David Mamet play "The Anarchist," at the John Golden Theatre in New York.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey Richards Associates, Joan Marcus)

After almost 30 years, Debra Winger has revealed why she quit A League of Their Own despite having trained for three months with the Chicago Cubs. Winger tells the Telegraph that she decided to walk after director Penny Marshall cast Madonna. Winger says she accused Marshall of turning the 1992 movie about the first female baseball league an "Elvis film," which was not what she had signed up for. Winger says the studio agreed with her and she still got paid. "It was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract," she says. "In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court."

Winger was replaced as Rockford Peaches catcher Dottie Hinson by Geena Davis, who was nominated for a Golden Globe, CNN reports. Winger tells the Telegraph that she met the real baseball players the movie was based, and she feels the film didn't do them justice. "You don’t walk away going 'Wow, those women did that,'" she says. "You kind of go, 'Is that true?’” She says Davis "did OK," but none of the stars, apart from possibly Lori Petty, trained enough to be convincing as baseball players. With Madonna, she said, her "acting career has spoken for itself." Winger, 66, is currently appearing in Apple TV's Mr. Corman. She tells the Telegraph that she quit Hollywood in 1995 because she "ceased being challenged." (More Debra Winger stories.)

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