Had things gone a different way, it would have been Debra Winger and not Geena Davis on the receiving end of Tom Hanks’ iconic “There’s no crying in baseball!” speech in “A League of Their Own”.
As Winger previously revealed, she dropped out of the 1992 when she learned that Madonna had been cast, and explained her decision in a new interview with The Telegraph.
According to Winger, she had spent three months training with the Chicago Cubs in order to play pitcher Dottie Hinson. However, when Madonna landed the role of “All the Way” Mae Mordabito, Winger exited the movie after accusing director Penny Marshall of “making an Elvis film.”
While Davis was ultimately cast in the role, Winger revealed that she still received a paycheque due to her “pay-of-play” contract.
“The studio agreed with me, because it was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract. In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court,” said Winger.
“As entertaining as [the final film] was, you don’t walk away going ‘Wow, those women did that,’” she said of the real-life players on whom the film was based. “You kind of go ‘Is that true?’”
In fact, Winger still feels that the actresses in the movie — including Rosie O’Donnell, Ann Cusack, Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram and Anne Ramsay — didn’t train long enough to look convincing on the field, although she admitted Lori Petty was an exception.
Pointing to the finished film, Winger agreed that Davis “did okay” in what was supposed to be her role, adding, “I certainly don’t begrudge any of them.”
Defending her decision to step back, Winger took a veiled shot at Madonna’s acting abilities. “I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself,” she quipped.