Rosie O’Donnell (Sleepless in Seattle) is stepping up to bat once again as she’s been cast in Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming television reboot of A League of Their Own, the 1992 film that marked her screen debut. Returning to the film that served as her breakout role in Hollywood, O’Donnell confirmed she would make an appearance in the series on the Wednesday episode of the podcast, “Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino”, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
Starring in the film as wise-cracking baseball player Dorris Murphy, O’Donnell stole the show with her tomboy, tough as nails persona opposite the likes of Madonna (Evita), Tom Hanks (News of the World), Geena Davis (Thelma and Louise), and Lori Petty (Point Break). Directed by Penny Marshall (Big), the film was a box office hit, and groundbreaking in its portrayal of female professional athletes. A comedy-drama, A League of Their Own was based upon the true story of the women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1940s while men were off fighting in World War Two.
The upcoming remake at Amazon Prime is spearheaded by Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), and in addition to having a starring role, she serves as the series writer and co-creator alongside Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle). O’Donnell told Pellegrino: “I had a great experience on A League of Their Own. I love the Broad City women and when I was told [Abbi] was doing League, she called me up and said, ‘Ro, would you do it?’ And I said, ‘In a minute.’ Then she sent me the pilot that she did and it was just really beautiful.”
O’Donnell went on to reveal that she will be playing a bartender at a local gay bar in the series, though she said she has not shot any of her scenes yet. Remarking on the impact her character had in the original film, she revealed to Pellegrino, “It’s funny, during League of Our Own, my character again, I think was gay. And when she had that speech — ‘I never really felt like a real girl. I always felt like a fake girl, not even a girl, but now there’s a lot of us and I feel like we’re all okay’ — I did that in the bus…” O’Donnell went on to say that Marshall disagreed with her, not believing her character was gay: “I said, ‘Pen, did you read the words? The words are totally that she finally feels she fits in amongst this group of tomboys. There’s this little bit of an undertone.” Marshall ended up making her repeat the scene, but O’Donnell stuck to her interpretation of the character throughout the movie.
In addition to Jacobson, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) will take over Hank’s iconic role as the new and improved baseball coach Jimmy Dugan. The series cast will also feature D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Chanté Adams (Roxanne Roxanne), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Brain in Gear), Priscilla Delgado (The Protected), and Roberta Colindrez (I Love Dick).
Listen to O’Donnell’s full conversation with Pellegrino here: