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Tom Hanks didn’t know what to expect from his most surprising co-star

Working with Tom Hanks is a dream for anyone making new movies, but the man himself wasn't sure what to think of a very famous co-star on this '90s movie.

Tom Hanks didn't know what to expect from surprising co-star

Tom Hanks is the sort of consummate pro who can work with absolutely anybody on a movie set. If Tom Hanks, one of the best actors on the planet, is at your side, it’s highly likely that you’ve got one of the best movies of your career on the way.


Hanks is no stranger to unconventional co-stars and, in one of his best ’90s movies, he found himself sharing the screen with a pop music sensation. Of course, Hanks being Hanks, the result clearly worked.

The star told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the premiere of A League of Their Own in 1992 that the arrival of Madonna on set was a bizarre moment, in which nobody knew what sort of colleague was about to walk on to the movie.

“No one knew what to expect from the world’s most recognizable, popular cultural icon,” said Hanks. “She had a distinct personality and that’s kind of interesting to get used to after a while.”

There was controversy around the decision to bring in Madonna to play baseball team member Mae Mordabito, with original star Debra Winger choosing to step away from what she expected to become akin to an “Elvis film” due to the pop star casting.

Geena Davis came on board to replace Winger as Dottie Hinson, player and assistant manager of the Rockford Peaches. Hanks played the team’s cynical manager Jimmy Dugan.

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As for Hanks on the set, he ultimately enjoyed working with Madonna, who became just “part of the ensemble after the brouhaha died down” around the stunt casting decision. He added: “I did end up liking her. I thought she was neat. I thought she was cool.”

That’s Hanks for you, a nice guy to the end. A League of Their Own is now considered among the best Tom Hanks movies and inspired a spin-off series on Amazon Prime in 2022.

For more Hanks, learn why Tom Hanks hated part of preparing for Cast Away and find out which underrated comedy movie he thinks made his entire career. You can also read our Asteroid City review to find out about his recent performance.