“Big” was only the second film Penny Marshall ever led. Before becoming a director, she had a very successful career as a comedian, most notably as Laverne on the TV show Laverne & Shirley. She ended up directing several episodes of the show as well.
And while Marshall wasn’t the most experienced director at the time, her flair served her well. In July 1988, Big was declared “the most successful feature film ever made by a woman”. API). She was also the first woman to direct a film that earned over $100 million at the box office. Voice). Suddenly, she became one of the most sought-after directors in the film industry. “Yes, I’m supposedly hot right now … I’m a little scared,” she said. Washington Post. “Suddenly, you’re needed for everything.”
At the time, Marshall wasn’t ready to look for her next directorial project, telling the Post, “I’m just not the type to knock on doors. Basically, my attitude is, “Well, if you really want me. .. ‘Then I will feel needed, and then I will go through all the obsessive pain required to do any job.’ Of course, Marshall made many more successful films, including A League of Their Own, which once again made Marshall history as the film made over $100 million.