Penny Marshall talks book, Rodman film

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
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Dennis Rodman, Penny MarshallAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesPenny Marshall is working with Dennis Rodman on a documentary about his remarkable life.
Legendary comedian Penny Marshall has a new memoir out called "My Mother Was Nuts."

And Marshall, known for starring in "Laverne & Shirley" and directing "A League of Their Own," admits that it might run in the family.

Playbook had a few minutes with Marshall to talk about the book and her work with flamboyant basketball star Dennis Rodman, and to try to get her to stay on point.

Let's start talking about you working with Rodman and his documentary about his life.

"He came to my apartment in New York. Yeah, we're doing the film. He's in the Legends League. He's going to Indonesia and China and South America. That means he's not drinking, and that's a good thing. When people book him into clubs in Miami, that's the worst thing for him."

When did you meet him?

"Back in the Bulls days. He would call me 'Miss Marshall.' I always had a nice time with him. He would bring his family over for Thanksgiving, and all the kids would be running around together."

When will the film be ready?

"I don't know. I need to get him back here to shoot some video. We have some talking heads already. Video of his basketball days cost a fortune. I need to get him to Dallas to shoot some more. I hope they don't book him into more bars for appearances. That's terrible for him. I don't drink. That's not a moral issue. I would get sick. Three drinks and I would be on the porcelain bus."

[+] EnlargePenny Marshall
AP Photo/Starpix, Dave AlloccaPenny Marshall shows off her book "My Mother Was Nuts."

Oh, I didn't know that.


"I'm allergic to opiates. I've outgrown a lot of things. I hate when those rags take things out of context when they say I was on drugs when I was working on 'Laverne & Shirley.' That's not true. It was the 1970s and 1980s. Everyone was doing drugs. I just never did them while working."

Oh, good to know.

"I'm not doing those entertainment shows anymore. I defended Britney Spears on there -- whom I don't even know -- and they want to bring up all this sensational stuff about me."

Let's get back to sports. You live a bicoastal life between New York and Los Angeles. But you still have season tickets for teams in LA?

"I'm talking to you from Los Angeles. I'm outside getting some air. I have season tickets to the Lakers and the Clippers. Last season almost killed me because of the lockout. There were games every night when they came back. I would have to sell some of them."

If you had a "Sophie's Choice" and could pick only one?

"I had to switch my seats for the Lakers. I can't afford $250,000 for those seats. If they win or lose, good or bad, the prices continue to go up. There were years they didn't do crap. But the prices went up."

You still have your major sports memorabilia collection?


"It's here in Los Angeles. Basketball, baseball, football. I'm not a hockey fan. I'm not a golf fan. I know a few of those tennis players."

You also have a lot of famous friends, from actress Carrie Fisher to former basketball player Chris Mullin to politicians such as Al Gore.

"Those Democrats start beeping me at 5 in the morning out here. It's 8 a.m. there on the East Coast. My friends tell me to turn the beeper off on my phone or turn the phone off. I don't know how to do that. I'm mechanically challenged. I'm getting a new one soon."

You are that mechanically challenged?

"Half the things I look at are on the iPad. I can see the letters. They are bigger there. I have a grandson who is 20. He's a computer guy. I'm worried that he can't communicate without his machine. They have no personal contact with people. That's the bad part of technology. I thankfully talked into a tape recorder for this book. And someone else helped me write it out. Do you think I mumble?

No, you don't sound like you mumble.

"Thanks. Trying to decide between me and my friends who should get the bipolar awards."

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