Debra Winger Says She Quit A League of Their Own Because of Madonna

Debra Winger, who spent months training to play the Geena Davis role in A League of Their Own, says she quit the film after Madonna joined the cast.

By Ryan Gajewski Aug 16, 2021 7:17 AMTags
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There might not be crying in baseball, but based on Debra Winger's story surrounding her experience with Madonna, there is quitting in baseball.

During an interview with The Telegraph published on Friday, Aug. 13, the 66-year-old Terms of Endearment star recalled that she had spent three months training with the Chicago Cubs to prepare for Geena Davis' role in A League of Their Own, but that she quit the project after Madonna was cast in another lead role.

Debra explained that she believed director Penny Marshall casting the pop star was a sign the movie would become "an Elvis [Presley] film," and so she decided to bow out. 

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

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Debra went on to say she doesn't think the film succeeded in its effort to tell the real-life athletes' stories. "As entertaining as [the final film] was, you don't walk away going, 'Wow, those women did that,'" she shared. "You kind of go, 'Is that true?'"

She also said she didn't think most of the stars did enough training and that Geena "did OK" in the part Debra was set to play. When asked to comment on Madonna's performance, Debra added, "I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself." Ouch.

Madonna has yet to comment publicly on the recent remarks.

Debra, who currently stars on the Apple TV+ series Mr. Corman, is known for speaking her mind during interviews. Indeed, she took part in an awkward Watch What Happens Live sit-down in 2018.

Back then, after host Andy Cohen asked her to rank some of her previous on-screen kisses, she fired back with, "OK, so you remember somebody you kissed 30 years ago?"

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