Debra Winger Reveals Why She Quit ‘A League Of Their Own’ When Madonna Was Cast

Actress Debra Winger says she quit "A League Of Their Own" when Madonna was cast, opening the door for Geena Davis.

Academy Award-nominated Hollywood star Debra Winger went on the record recently to say that she quit  Penny Marshall’s beloved 1992 baseball movie A League Of Their Own largely because Madonna joined the cast.

First, here’s a look at the trailer to help you remember why this movie is such a beloved classic.

Debra Winger Talks ‘A League Of Their Own’ Casting

USA Today reported that Winger was not pleased when Madonna was cast as center fielder Mae Mordabito in the movie, which centers around a female professional baseball league.

“The studio agreed with me because it was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract,” Winger said. “In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court.”

Related: Oscar Winning Actress Debra Winger Admits #MeToo Has Gone ‘Ridiculously Too Far’

Winger dropped out of the leading role as catcher Dottie Hinson and was replaced by actress Geena Davis, who would later be nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.

66-year-old Winger never regretted her decision, however, as she was not a fan of the final version of the Penny Marshall film.

“As entertaining as (the final film) was, you don’t walk away going ‘Wow, those women did that.’ You kind of go, ‘Is that true?'” she explained.

Winger went on to say that she trained with the Chicago Cubs for three months for the role, and she does not feel that the actresses in the movie put in enough work on the field to look like authentic baseball players.

“I certainly don’t begrudge any of them,” she said.

Debra Winger Blasts Madonna

As for Madonna, Winger made it clear that she is not a fan of hers.

“I think (her) acting career has spoken for itself,” she said bluntly.

Related: Madonna Claims There’s Something ‘Sexual’ About Jesus Hanging on the Cross

Geena Davis Talks Madonna Too

Debra Winger wasn’t the only one to question Madonna’s role in A League Of Their Own.

Actress Geena Davis has previously admitted her own surprise at Madonna being cast in the movie.

“She was Madonna,” she said in 2017. “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?” 

However, Davis found that Madonna was a real performer who was game for anything, even sliding head-first into bases for the camera.

“That was painful,” Davis said. “But she was so game. She was a trooper.”

It’s always interesting to hear behind the scenes stories, and to see who nearly had starring roles in some of our favorite films.

In the end, it seems that A League Of Their Own simply was not the right project for Debra Winger, so she likely made the right decision in dropping out and moving on. 

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