Debra Winger Blames Madonna for 'A League of Their Own' Quitting, Downplays Geena Davis' Acting?
Debra Winger isn't hiding her reasons for leaving "A League of Their Own," although it may appear as offensive to Madonna. This is because the actress lays the responsibility or blame behind her quitting the show because of the legendary musician.
The Oscar-nominated actress, 66, told The Telegraph that she dropped out of the 1992 Penny Marshall picture after Madonna was cast as one of the ensemble's athletes.
Winger Did Not Like Madonna?
Winger expressed her concern that it was turning into a "Elvis film," rather than the project for which she spent three months intensively practicing and envisioning with the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Upon her quitting, Geena Davis went on to play Dottie Hinson in the film.
"The studio agreed with me because it was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract," said Winger (via People Magazine). "In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that's very hard to get in a court. ... 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 added.
She does not have any issues with Davis for replacing her, or anyone in the cast and crew for the matter.
According to Winger, Davis "performed okay." Davis, who is now 65, was actually nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.
"I certainly don't begrudge any of them," Winger said of the people behind and the cast on "A League of Their Own." The project also starred Tom Hanks, Lori Petty and Rosie O'Donnell.
It's only Madonna that she truly had scathing thoughts and remarks of. Winger made a comment on Madonna's performance and it was kind of negative. "I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself."
Madonna, Davis Recognized in This Project
While Winger's thoughts and experiences were to be respected, one can truly say Madonna and Geena Davis performed quite well on "A League of Their Own."
Madonna, now 63, was able to earn Golden Globe nomination for best original song for "This Used to Be My Playground," which was part of the project. After her work was done here, she went on to star in 1996's "Evita."
In 2017, Davis talked about doing the movie, including her audition process: "[Marshall] wanted to make sure I could throw a ball, so that happened. I threw the ball to her, competently got it to her, she caught it and said, 'Okay.' That was the whole audition," she told USA Today.
Unlike Wenger, she actually loved the experience of working with Madonna, even though there were reluctance at first.
"She was Madonna. 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?" she said. "... But she was so game. She was a trooper," she revealed.