‘A League of Their Own’: Remembering the Making of Penny Marshall’s Classic Film

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Following the tragic passing of beloved actress and director Penny Marshall, ET is looking back at the making of her 1992 hit, A League of Their Own.

Like many film projects, the road to completion was loaded with pitfalls and surprises. First and foremost, Marshall previously admitted that Geena Davis, who was celebrated for her performance as catcher “Dottie” Hinson, was not the her  first choice for the role.

“I wanted Demi Moore,” Marshall admits in some throwback footage. “Demi Moore I liked but by the time we came around she was pregnant.”

On top of that, the production was mired by scorching temperatures as they attempted to film in Evansville, Indiana.

“Hark work. It was 106 degrees, 120 on the field,” Rosie O’Donnell, who made her feature debut in the film, explained in 1993. “A lot of people passed out.”

“Yeah, a lot of puking,” Madonna, who played "All the Way" Mae Mordabito in the picture, chimed in.

In old interviews, Marshall also playfully prods Tom Hanks, who she claims really pushed for the role of Jimmy Dugan after a string of misses including Joe Versus the Volcano, Radio Flyer and The Bonfire of the Vanities. He even put on thirty pounds to become the washed up baseball manager.

“Tom wanted the part ‘cause he had had a couple of flops,” she explained. “Not flops, but [they] didn't do so well. He said, ‘I want this part.’”

Once production got underway, Hanks playfully claimed Marshall wore everyone out on set with her many, many takes for each scene.

“She will shoot it a thousand times,” he bemoaned after making the film. “All under the guise of course of, ‘Oh I dunno what I want.’ I’m gonna be in the editing room and I might need this.’”

Marshall fired back that, "No, it's not that I do that many takes, I cover it from many angles."

Looking back, Marshall also explained that she decided to make the film after seeing a documentary about the women’s league, which sprung up in the 1940s while many men were enlisted in WWII.

“It’s about friendship,” she stated back when. “It’s about people feeling better about themselves.”

Marshall passed away at the age of 75 on Monday from complications involving diabetes. Following her passing, some of Hollywood’s most elite paid tribute to her online. Among them was Hanks, who looked back fondly on his time working with her.

“Goodbye, Penny,” he wrote. “Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.”

Check out the entire video up above.

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