Why Debra Winger Quit A League Of Their Own Over Madonna Casting

“I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself.”

Debra Winger has confirmed there is quitting in casting.

The iconic actress recently told The Telegraph she dropped out of 1992 film “A League of Their Own” after Madonna was cast, making room for Geena Davis to take her spot as Dottie in the beloved dramedy.

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Winger revealed she had even spent three months training with the Chicago Cubs before learning director Penny Marshall had cast the Material Girl in the baseball movie. The actress said she feared at the time the movie was going to become just another vehicle for a pop singer, like “an Elvis film.”

“The studio agreed with me because it was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract,” she told The Telegraph. “In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court.”

While the movie was a box office success and has gone on to become a classic, Winger still feels like it could have been better. “As entertaining as [the finished film] was,” she said, “you don’t walk away going, ‘Wow, those women did that.’ You kind of go, ‘Is that true?'”

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And while she did not seem entirely impressed with the film, she did admit her replacement Davis “did OK.”

However, she made it clear, “I certainly don’t begrudge any of them.”

But she did have one final remark on Madonna’s casting, “I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself.”

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Davis’ Dottie earned her a Golden Globe nomination while Madonna’s song, “This Used to Be My Playground,” got a nod as well.

Meanwhile, Winger said of her decision to step back from acting in general a few years after quitting the baseball movie, “I stopped because I ceased being challenged,” adding that the roles she did get offered of mother or supportive spouse were “pretty boring.”

She has, however, over the years made appearances in various projects, including current Apple TV+ show “Mr. Corman,” alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Juno Temple.


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