Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin tell us about season 2 of GLOW: ‘Shit gets crazy’

2018-06-29 06:00
 
Alison Brie (Ruth) and Betty Gilpin (Debbie) in GL

Channel24 editor Herman Eloff travelled to Rome, Italy to meet Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin - the stars of the hit Netflix show, GLOW. 

Rome - In its second season the women of GLOW become local celebrities. With their newfound fame however comes some shocking new realities both good and bad. 

As Ruth and Debbie settle into the day-to-day of making a season of TV together, they confront lingering issues at the heart of their friendship. 

During a sit-down interview with Alison Brie (Ruth) and Betty Gilpin (Debbie) in Rome, Channel24 got the inside scoop on what viewers can expect from the thrilling second season, what it was like working on a female-led show and how the cast cope with the pressure of living up to the success of the first season. 

GLOW

(The cast of GLOW season 2. Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix)

ON WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SEASON 2

Alison 

While season 1 of the show was about training and all the girls learning how to wrestle and figuring out if they could make a show, season 2 is about them actually making that show. GLOW has been green-lit and there’s going to be a lot more drama behind-the-scenes in terms of the making of a show and what the producers are struggling with in terms of selling GLOW the series, keeping it interesting, and keeping audiences engaged. You’ll also see the women struggling with their small amount of fame, having fans, how they feel about that. There will be a new sense of competition among each other as they compete for airtime and recognition. 

Betty

You’ll also see Ruth and Debbie navigating their friendship. When we last saw them, they were kind of in a form of denial type of a good place, I think. They sort of skipped the step of actually working on their friendship and having a difficult conversation about this crazy thing that happened. In season 2 we’re sort of seeing the repercussions of that. 

Alison

Definitely. I would also say there’s a lot more drama in season 2, and also our silliest episode to date. That’s the only thing I think I’m allowed to say about this certain episode. But shit gets crazy.

Betty

We took it too far.

Alison

We may have gone too far. You be the judge. 

GLOW

(Betty Gilpin (Debbie) and Alison Brie (Ruth) in action. Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix)

ON THE PRESSURE OF LIVING UP TO THE HYPE OF SEASON 1

Betty

There is a lot of pressure to live up to the hype of the first season. The first season felt very insular and protected. Like it was this secret feminist, circus camp that wasn’t for anyone else but each other and now there’s an awareness that we actually made a show that people watched and enjoyed. So, there’s a pressure of meeting people’s expectations. But I think it took a week of being in my head about that and then I just had to let it go and went back to the circus camp. 

Alison

It’s such a pleasant place to be. Truly. To be on set shooting this show. Our writers are incredible. Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch are incredible running the show and their writing continues to evolve. It’s great to work on a show where the characters get to evolve constantly. We just have such implicit trust for them…so we kind of very quickly realised that any of that sort of pressure was actually on them. [Laughs] So it sort of took the edge off of us a little and all we had to do was wrestle…and act for our lives [In dramatic voice].

ON WORKING ON A FEMALE-LED SHOW

Alison

It is absolutely a different experience working on a show with so many women involved behind-the-scenes. Especially having women at the top in Liz and Carly as our bosses. We often joke how we would say to them sometimes; ‘Oh, I hope they will keep this in the show’ and they’ll say to us; ‘We’re they’…[Laughs]…‘We’re making the final decision’. It’s funny to have that realisation. For me it feels different just in the transparency in the way that we do things. There’s a lot of communication that takes place and I know some of that is due to our experience as leads on the show who are privy to more information, but the set feels very comfortable, very safe. Not only because of the women behind the camera, but having 15 women on the show, having the majority of cast members be women. It really feels like we have ownership over that space and that is different for me. 

Betty

Yeah, I think as a result of our business being so male dominated for so long…I think shame and fear and second-guessing yourself as an actress is so ingrained. For me it took being surrounded by brave women to feel brave myself as an actor and as a business person. 

Alison

You say that about being around brave women because…I think our show is unique in having so many different women that we get to work with. The cast of our show have such different backgrounds and interesting history and stories and everyone is bringing something really unique to their role. It’s also a group of highly intelligent, very politically minded, feminist women. I have also felt very inspired by all the women that we work with and the types of conversations we’re having all the time on set. It varies from being totally silly and stupid and doing characters and voices and joking around to being serious and having discussions about issues that are going on all over the world. 

Betty

Yeah, and a lot of them are mothers and they create their own work. They’re directors, writers, dancers.

GLOW

(Ruth (Alison Brie) has Debbie (Betty Gilpin) in a grip. Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix)

ON #METOO AND IT’S IMPACT ON THE SHOW

Alison

It really didn’t change anything about the way we were making the show. The episodes for season 2 were all already written – the writers had already been writing for months before we started shooting even before the #MeToo movement was really at the forefront of our industry. It kind of is just great timing in terms of relevance for our show and just the way the show is resonating with audiences. The show was always meant to be about empowering women and having their voices heard in certain plot-lines that seem to mirror things that are happening in our industry currently. 

ON THE WRESTLING IN SEASON 2

Betty

I feel like there’s so much more in the ring in this season. I wrestled a lot in season 2. 

Alison

Betty wrestles more than anyone.

Betty

Yes. Yeah, which makes for a crazy schedule because you are filming one episode and then learning the wrestling choreography for the next episode and two episodes away. Kind of rushing with crazy Liberty Belle hair and makeup to wrestle somebody in wrestling practice. You start to go a little insane. But we train with Chavo Guerrero Jr., our wrestling coach from last year as well. We did a month of training again this season like we did last season. But we kind of picked up where we left off in season 1. The biggest moves that we learned at the end of training last year were the brush up moves on day 1 this season and we just got bigger and bigger from there. 

Alison

Yeah, so it was exciting and scary. We just kind of had to remember to flex that internal muscle of letting go of fear and literally throwing yourself into those moves and that training. It’s also really cool that we get to work with Shauna Duggins as our stunt coordinator. She’s one of the few female stunt coordinators working in television. So, I feel lucky to have her on our show with so many women. She obviously understands the female body and how it’s learning to do these moves. Also Helena Barrett who is a stuntwoman on our show. They are essential in translating a lot of these big moves into our bodies. 

ON WHAT THEY LIKE MOST ABOUT THEIR CHARACTERS

Betty

I love playing Debbie because I feel like…whereas earlier in her life the things that were going on in her brain were internalised and she was better at hiding it and now I think it’s all sort of on the surface. In one sentence I have to try and navigate all the things she’s feeling out loud. I think she’s sort of a mess and based her personality around being a very tidy and clean person. So, I think her state in life right now is sort of the antithesis of what she was and that’s fun to play. 

Alison

I love Ruth. I always find it interesting when people talk to me about how awful she is or something, because I don’t see that at all. She’s a wonderful character to play. I like that she makes mistakes. I also enjoy her perseverance even though it’s very trying for other characters on the show. She is a fighter. She has fought for everything she has achieved in her life...which is not much. She continues to fight every day to do her best work…to fight for the show…to fight for her relationship with Debbie. I admire her perseverance. 

Watch season 2 of GLOW on Netflix now!

ALSO READ: My inspiring chat with Lucy Liu and Cheo Hodari Coker about the new season of Luke Cage

*Channel24's trip to Rome was sponsored by Netflix

Read more on:    netflix  |  tv  |  glow

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