Rosie O'Donnell gets in the game with role in A League of Their Own TV series
It's hard to imagine A League of Their Own without Rosie O'Donnell and thankfully, the upcoming Amazon series has us covered. Appearing on Wednesday's episode of Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino, O'Donnell confirmed that she would be involved in the show — there truly is no crying in baseball!
A representative for the series did not immediately respond to EW's request for confirmation.
The actress noted that she hadn't actually shot her scene yet, but was planning to in the coming months. According to O'Donnell, she'll be playing a bartender at a local gay bar. That casting choice feels especially poignant given that O'Donnell confirmed she always interpreted her character of Doris Murphy as a lesbian, despite the fact she was never officially identified as one.
"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 recalled to Pellegrino, adding that director Penny Marshall didn't initially agree with her assessment of Doris. According to O'Donnell, Marshall asked her to repeat the scene, saying "it's not a gay thing."
The actress disagreed.
"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 didn't back down from her stance, but that didn't stop O'Donnell from giving her take on the character, albeit subtly.
O'Donnell was only 30 when she starred in Marshall's 1992 classic, which was considered her breakout role. Speaking to Pellegrino, O'Donnell detailed her involvement with the series, explaining that co-creator Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) reached out directly to get her on board — not that she was hard to convince.
"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."
Along with Jacobson, Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle) is a co-creator on the Amazon series. The original film followed the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II and starred Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Madonna. Back in August, EW reported that the new series will be a reinterpretation that "promises to evoke the joyful spirit of Penny Marshall's beloved classic, while widening the lens to tell the story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball. The show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the League and outside of it."
In addition to co-creating, Jacobson will star in the series alongside Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Chanté Adams (Roxanne Roxanne), D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Brain in Gear), Kelly McCormack (Killjoys), Roberta Colindrez (Vida), and Priscilla Delgado (The Protected).
No release date has currently been set.