Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis visited the Salt Lake Bees and Spring Mobile Ballpark last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film “A League of Their Own.” Deseret News sports writer Dirk Facer interviewed the star of the show before she threw out the ceremonial first pitch and participated in other activities at the game.
Q: What is special to you about "A League of Their Own" and was it an enjoyable experience?
A: It was. I can't believe it was 20 years ago. I just thought it was great to have a period movie about women's baseball be so successful. It was really a big hit. I think it meant a lot to women and to girls, too. Because the movie still exists on DVD and video and all that, I have just as many young girls come up to me now and say 'I play sports now because of that movie' as 20 years ago. So I'm just real happy with the impact that it's had."
Q: Are you a baseball fan and when you took the role (of star player Dottie Hinson) was it a stretch for you?
A: Yeah, I was a fan but I had never played baseball. So it was quite a challenge. I thought 'Oh great, wait a minute. I have to play the best baseball player ever seen and I don't know how to throw a ball.' So it was a little challenging. But they had great coaches and you could do a lot of magic in movies, so it all worked out good.
Q: You made the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic archery trials in 2000. When the Olympics roll around every four years do you get stirrings to compete again?
A: I do. I have little kids now so I haven't pursued it for a while. When you're trying to compete at that level the amount of practice and everything you have to do is insane. But I do think about it. I love to watch the archery, and it's been real fun that these movies have been coming out with female characters shooting arrows. So that's been pretty exciting, actually. People say 'Oh is that because of you?' and I'm like ... huh, yeah, yeah, it's all cause of me.
Q: Do you ever wonder how far you could take your archery success if you were able to pursue it?
A: I do think I had a knack for it because I only took it up 2½ years before I qualified for the semifinals. I took it up at 41. Who knew? It's clearly not an age-dependent sport. But, yeah, I'll always feel like I'll wonder how far I could go with it. It was fun to try it and I may do it again, who knows? I'll see if I get the time again.
Q: Would reaching the Olympics be the pinnacle for you?
A: Yes. That's the Oscar. Then people can ask me which are you more proud of, your Oscar or your medal. I wish I had that problem.
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