Over a month ago, Will Graham and Abbi Jacobson’s new “A League of Their Own” television series premiered on Amazon Prime Video, and while no news of a renewal for a second season has been released yet, Jacobson is grateful that the work she started in 2018 has finally made it to the small screen. In addition to creating the show, Jacobson plays eventual Rockford Peaches catcher Carson Shaw, who discovers a lot more about herself than just her love for baseball along the way.
Jacobson’s character is happily married to a soldier off fighting in the war, but when she meets Greta Gill (D’Arcy Carden), she begins to gravitate toward her teammate, the first basewoman, in a totally different but intense way. Jacobson spoke with TheWrap in a spoiler-filled Zoom conversation five weeks after the show first dropped, discussing how she feels about its, her hardest scenes to shoot and more. But sorry folks, no news on Season 2 yet.
Read the full interview below:
How does it feel to have the show out for five weeks now?
We’ve been working on it since 2018, and then we’ve been done for a while too. There’s been a long runway to the flying of this show, and so I was so happy when it actually was released. I was starting to get nervous it wasn’t ever going to air and so that I feel so so proud of it and relieved in a lot of ways.
What’s the reception been like?
I have this very interesting relationship with social media. It’s love-hate where my whole career started on it, and it’s been such a key component in how stories are told now. It’s how you tell people what you’re doing and it is sort of the only way I know what people think. People text me or or I see it on online and so I feel like it’s been a really incredible response. In the beginning, I was like just ‘watch it’ [to] people who were initially concerned that we’d ruin the movie. There was this initial thing that people thought we were rewriting history when that was never what was happening and you just need to actually watch the show to see what we’re doing. Since that little first hump and people actually watched it, it feels like a really overwhelmingly positive response. I’m just so happy to hear the individual stories of people really feeling seen and feeling represented on screen and engaging with the storytelling.
I know Amazon takes a month to look at numbers and data, but is there any new update on Season 2 news or a renewal? Have they made a decision?
I’ve never worked with a with a streamer like this. So I’m not used to this, the way in which they do stuff. They’re a data company that happens to make television. So yeah, they’re doing I guess what they usually do. I don’t know if they did the same thing for ‘Lord of the Rings,’ like I imagine that’s [been] picked up. So yeah, we’re still sort of in a moment where we’re waiting to see.
What would a Season 2 look like more broadly and then for your character Carson Shaw more specifically?
We have rough ideas of what the show looks like as a bigger picture broadly. This is a big ensemble, and I think the show is always going to juggle these two worlds back and forth with Carson and Max at the helm of those two worlds. I hope we did a really good job of making all of our ensemble feel like full people and characters you’re invested in, but I think moving into a Season 2, we would definitely want to lean into some characters that didn’t get as much attention as others in Season 1. There’s a lot more story to be told with all of our characters, and just leaning into some of the ensemble that we haven’t so far. And then in terms of my character, I mean, we left on quite a cliffhanger.
\Carson was figuring out so much about herself without really dealing with any repercussions of those choices because Charlie was at war. And then there was ‘Will this league last?’ It all felt a little bit temporary. If we were to get to Season 2, it would really be: she does know herself a lot better, she can hear herself but what now? There are consequences to what happened at the end of the season and what does that look like and how does she move forward?
Do you have a favorite new line or quote from the show that wasn’t in Penny Marshall’s film?
The sequence of Max and Carson’s last scene where Max says ‘I’d rather take five minutes of what this feels like than the rest before’ and the [beer bottle clinking] ‘To the five,’ that’s what sort of pulls Carson into her last speech to the Peaches which is like whatever happens, this is what [matters]. Be present. I hate saying this because I didn’t love the way that — I don’t like having to cut on the fly and do all these things so last minute, but sometimes those limitations lead you to find something new you wouldn’t have found. And so I love ‘To the five.’ I hope I live that way a little bit more.
Since Rosie O’Donnell makes an appearance in Season 1 has there been any discussion of any other people from the film coming in later? I know they’ve reacted to it and everyone’s supporting it.
Because we haven’t even been picked up yet, we haven’t been able to have any conversations like that.
If you were, do you have any ideas?
I love Megan Cavanaugh and Geena Davis obviously. Everyone in the film is — I think we would be lucky to have everyone. In the first season we were really trying to move away from the film, and Rosie felt like the most organic to this reimagining. She felt the most appropriate to like ‘Wow, she was not queer in the film.’ We’re telling all these other stories that felt really right.
Were there any scenes for you as Carson that were super tricky to film or super emotional?
Probably the most challenging, but in a good way, I was really excited to get to stretch some things acting-wise that I hadn’t before, especially, I would say in the seventh episode. It’s almost like 24 hours. That episode is less time and, on the Peaches’ side, they’re dealing with the ramifications of the gay bar being broken up and Jo being traded and all this and then Charlie shows up. So much is happening and I think the scene with Greta right before Charlie shows up is and was devastating to shoot. Not hard in that we couldn’t figure it out. It was just like, getting to play like that with D’Arcy in such a different way than we are used to where it’s devastating, it’s heartbreaking. Carson’s still wanting this to be real and Grega’s like, look at what is happening. It’s like snapping back to reality.
Greta says ‘What, you’re gonna leave your life for this?’ and Carson hesitates, and it’s in that hesitation that Greta cuts it with ‘This was always a fling.’ I was really excited about that scene, but I was very aware of like, ‘We gotta get this right.’ And then Charlie shows up and then a lot of my character’s scenes in that episode are in the hotel with Charlie. Charlie and Carson have this incredible dynamic that we really wanted the audience to see why she loves him, why this is even hard, not just in the 40s a woman having a husband and falling in love with a woman, [but] why it’s actually hard with Charlie because that is a bond. That’s her best friend and companion and she does love him and he is adorable, and they have this funny relationship. And also, he got the letter, and then it turns and like we’re angry and so all of that, I would say it was probably the most challenging but it was also the most satisfying for me as an actor.
Were any scenes with D’Arcy difficult to film whether you just made each other laugh or because you’re such good friends? How did you go about those more serious scenes?
At first it was like a little bit of a thing to — we’re making out all the time. It wasn’t like it was tricky. It was just sort of like, ‘We’re gonna do it. Here we go.’ Then it didn’t feel that way anymore. And then you’re shooting at like three in the morning. Once you go once you break the seal of laughing, and there’s like, we gotta go. We’re under these crazy time constraints. I think in those scenes I just talked about in [episode] seven, the more emotional ones, I think it is also knowing, as a scene partner, D’Arcy is one of my best friends and knowing like what she would need.
“A League of Their Own” is now streaming on Prime Video.