Gbemisola Ikumelo Talks ‘A League of Their Own’ and Jake Gyllenhaal ‘Road House’ Remake (Exclusive)

Gbemisola Ikumelo is ready to step up to the plate in Prime Video’s upcoming series, A League of Their Own! The British actress spoke with ET’s Cassie DiLaura at the show’s premiere event in Los Angeles on Thursday, where she opened up about her role and taking on a remake of the beloved 1992 film.

“The fan base, especially in the States- like, in the U.K., we appreciate this film, you guys are obsessed!” Ikumelo said of the cult classic film, which stars Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and more as the iconic Rockford Peaches baseball team, which was based on the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League formed during World War II.

“But I think what’s really beautiful about this [series] is that it’s expanding on a lot more of the stories that we’ve seen in the film,” she added. “So I think old fans will be really excited about the nods to the old film, and also, we get to go somewhere new, which I think is going to include some new fans as well.”

In the series, Ikumelo plays Clance Morgan, an aspiring artist and the best friend of Chante Adams’ Maxine “Max” Chapman, an ace pitcher who hopes to find her place on a team. 

Clance Morgan (Ikumelo) and Max Chapman (Adams) in ‘A League of Their Own.’

Prime Video

“I love this character,” she noted. “Chante really helped — we were really encouraged to play and just sort of improvise and figure it out, so I just loved falling in love with Clance and embodying her kind of quirks.”

The actress also admitted that she didn’t mind going back in time with the 1940s wardrobe.

“I was really like, I can take a few of these dresses home and kind of work them!” she shared. “I may have taken a dress or gown home with me.”

Next up, the BAFTA winner will be taking on another update of a beloved film property, as she’s been cast in the Road House remake, which features Jake Gyllenhaal playing the lead character made famous by Patrick Swayze in the 1989 original.

Ikumelo admitted the project is still in “very early days, but we’ve had some conversations and I think the character that I’m playing is going to be interesting.”

“All I know is like Doug Liman is a freakin’ G,” she added of the director, “and I will go where he tells me to go. We’ve had some conversations about it… different things that he wants to do, and I think his interpretation is going to be really exciting.”

She’s also got plenty of faith in the movie’s leading man, when it comes to how Gyllenhaal will be able to fill Swayze’s shoes.

“He has his own shoes, his own very cool, amazing shoes, so this is going to be his role by the end of it,” Ikumelo shared. “Patrick Swayze’s done an amazing thing with this role, and I think what Jake is going to do is going to be completely different and completely his own thing. I don’t think it’s going to be a comparable thing, you know? I think he’s going to own it in his own way.”

A League of Their Own premieres Aug. 12 on Prime Video. Check out ET’s flashback to the original film in the video below!

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