Debra Winger Admits She Dropped Out Of “A League Of Their Own” Because Of Madonna

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The movie A League Of Their Own has become a legendary film since its 1992 release.

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Lori Petty, the movie follows several female baseball players who try out and make the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and play for the Rockford Peaches.

While Geena Davis played the Peaches’ best player Dottie Hinsen, she wasn’t the first person cast in the role.

In fact, Urban Cowboy actress Debra Winger had nabbed the role early on.

By 1992, when the movie was released, Winger was a bonafide star having starred in An Officer and a GentlemanTerms of Endearment, Legal Eagles, Black Widow, Betrayed, The Sheltering Sky, and she even earned an Academy Award nomination for Shadowlands.

Ultimately, Winger dropped out of A League Of Their Own, and there was a specific reason why. Director Penny Marshall revealed in a 2012 interview the reason, but Winger herself addressed it recently during an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

She did not agree with the casting of Madonna as Mae Mordabito because she didn’t see the singer as a serious actor, and said her being attached to the movie made it “an Elvis film.” 

Winger continued, “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.”

Even though the movie has gone on to become legendary and even was selected in 2012 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, Winger believes the movie didn’t do a great job at celebrating the real women the film was about.

“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?’ ” Winger said.

Before dropping out, Winger trained with the Chicago Cubs for three months.

She admitted that the baseball that was played wasn’t believable, although stars Geena Davis and Lori Petty, who played Davis’s on-screen sister Kit Keller, “did okay.”

When asked about Madonna’s acting career, she said, “I think (her) acting career has spoken for itself.” Madonna’s last acting credit came in 2002.

What do you think about Winger’s decision to drop out of the film? We love this movie, so we can’t imagine anyone but Geena Davis playing Dottie!