Debra Winger has some choice words for Madonna. She recently revealed that she quit A League Of Their Own after she joined the cast before filming started. What’s this beef all about? Here’s the story.
Some Crying In Baseball
Debra Winger is no stranger to beef. She and Shirley MacLaine famously did not get along on the set of Terms of Endearment. That combination led to a tense set and some on-screen magic. The same went for her role opposite rival Richard Gere in An Officer and A Gentleman. Winger didn’t have a chance to make magic with Madonna. She chose to quit instead.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Winger explained why she quit A League of Their Own. She saw Madonna’s casting as a sign that the film would be an “Elvis Presley film,” and she wanted no part of what she thought was essentially stunt casting. Winger added that “I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court.” Winger would be replaced by Geena Davis, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Winger thought Davis “did OK” in the role, but that kindness didn’t extend to Madonna. She said, “I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself.” Madonna’s acting career crested with the baseball flick and a handful of less-than-well-received other roles, plus eagle-eyed viewers may remember her distracting cameo opposite James Bond in Die Another Day. In other words: that was not a compliment.
No First Choices
It’s worth noting that Winger wasn’t even the first choice for the flick. Director Penny Marshall later admitted: “I wanted Demi Moore…Demi Moore, I liked but by the time we came around she was pregnant.” Madonna wasn’t the first choice either and was only selected after an unknown first choice left for television.
A Reboot Series Looms
This 30-year-old drama is a great reminder that Amazon is currently remaking A League of Their Own as a television series. Rosie O’Donnell will return to the franchise that launched her career. The Good Place’s D’Arcy Carden and Nick Offerman will also star, although the show will feature all-new characters.
Winger does not appear to have any regrets over her decision, and she has no need to. Turning down A League of Their Own meant she was free to star in A Dangerous Woman and Shadowlands. The latter earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Winger is currently promoting the AppleTV+ series Mr. Corman, and just finished up work on The Ranch. It’s very unlikely that Winger will turn up on this reboot series, but stranger things have happened.