Alison Brie on working with mostly women on GLOW: ‘It was very freeing’

Alison Brie dazzled on the red carpet at LA’s ArcLight Theater for the premiere of her new series for Netflix, GLOW. The 34-year-old actress wore a silky navy blue backless slip dress with a thigh high slit from designer Jason Wu. She attended the premiere with her husband, actor Dave Franco. Love the dress. Dave’s suit? Not so much. Alison showed off her gown on Instagram:

There’s been a good deal of buzz about this new series, which began streaming on Netflix today. The show, set in the 80s, stars Alison as an aspiring actress who joins up with the women’s professional wrestling series GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). The show is produced by Jenji Kohan, of Orange is the New Black fame. Alison, who you may remember as sweet Annie Edison on Community and demure on Trudy Campbell on Mad Men, was glad to take on the role of a lady wrestler, telling Variety that, “I was looking to get my hands dirty, and shatter this image that people have of me, and it was exhilarating.” She added, “I loved getting to play a woman who in her life is not perfect, has some flaws, makes some really bad decisions. I think it’s a fun challenge for the audience to decide if they still want to root for her.”

Alison discussed her role on the new show and more with Britain’s Independent. When asked how she felt about being the lead on the show, she demurred, saying, “I like to think of myself more as team captain as it’s much more an ensemble.” Here are some more highlights from the interview:

On what attracted her to GLOW: The concept and the writing were the two strongest selling points. The concept alone peaked my interest immediately. It’s a women’s wrestling comedy set in the Eighties, Jenji Kohan producing, I would have signed on then. But, reading the first episode was written by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, it’s just incredible. The writing is so nuanced. And the idea of having so many great female characters in one show, watching these woman explore this thing that is so different and challenging for them, and obviously not something I have ever tackled, wrestling. And the character of Ruth drew me in, especially because I could relate to her immediately. It seemed like a role I hadn’t played before, a grittier show than I’ve done before. All that excited me. 

On the lack of female-centric television: It’s tough because there are boxes people want to put actors and actresses in all the time. And when you look at the landscape of network television, those character archetypes are very limited because you need to appeal to mass audiences. The idea is to give only slight variations on things that they’ve seen before, that they’re comfortable with. They want to watch women that are beautiful, whether they’re slightly quirky, or the romantic lead. They always need to have their hair in the perfect place, and things like that. With streaming services and the amount of content being produced for television, artists and creators are able to take risks, in terms of the types of stories they’re telling and creating. Netflix is at the forefront of that, giving the artists freedom to express their vision.

On working on a female-dominated series: It was just very freeing, and very important for this kind of job, because we were taking such big risks physically in the ring, and with our characters. It made for a lot of amazing discoveries, because people just felt empowered to take bigger risks.

  [From the Independent]

In the interview, Alison also mentioned her upcoming film, The Little Hours, which she noted was “about medieval nuns having sex, and swearing, and drinking.” She stars alongside Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci, Molly Shannon, and husband, who Allison asserts is in the film “very much as the catalyst for our sexual activity.” Sounds like a must-see to me!

I am a big fan of Alison and I can’t wait to see GLOW. I grew up in this era and remember the original show. From what I’ve seen in the trailer, this looks like a fun ride. I wonder if I will ever leave the house again, as I’m still working through OINTB and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Good thing I have a comfy couch.

Photos: Getty Images

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14 Responses to “Alison Brie on working with mostly women on GLOW: ‘It was very freeing’”

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  1. Layla says:

    She’s so beautiful, I can’t wait to watch this show.

  2. Patricia says:

    I just love her. Such a warm and humorous glow about her. Remember when Trudy threw the chicken out the window on Mad Men? Haha my favorite part of the whole series. She’s very talented and I am actually interested in GLOW even though it’s not the kind of subject matter I usually go for.

  3. lucy2 says:

    I blew through Kimmy and OITNB the weekends they were released! I definitely going to check this one out, I was so-so on it until I saw it was created by Jenji. She makes great shows, especially for female characters.
    I just listened to a podcast interview with the 2 stars, and I’m growing to like Alison more. I loved Community, but in interviews she always struck me as a little bit “on” and fake, but I didn’t get that this time. I have a feeling by the end of this show I’ll be a big fan, this is a different, risky, and interesting role.

  4. minx says:

    I love her! She’s so naturally beautiful, and she has a wonderful speaking voice.

  5. NeoCleo says:

    I’m so ready for this show!!!

  6. Meredith says:

    I love Alison Brie. I was always so impressed by how she was able to play Annie on Community and Trudy on Mad Men at the same time, and they were such different characters on such different show and she was wonderful in both. Can’t wait to watch this this weekend.

  7. fiorucci says:

    Love Kimmy! tried to watch OITNB as my husband likes it but can’t get into it. This is worth a try I think. She’s one of the best frommad men

  8. Erica_V says:

    So excited for this show!! The fact that Awesome Kong is on it is a huge bonus – I loved her in WWE!

    • AmunetMaat says:

      This show was on my .list to watch, I had no idea that Awesome Kong is in this. Now it’s a must see. I’m glad something good is coming her way after her tragedy.

  9. Ari says:

    I love her so much she is blindingly beautiful i literally tear up looking at her eyes i gotta put my hand in front of them to stop from going blind LOL

  10. Parigo says:

    This looks great, I’m there.

  11. sunshine gold says:

    How creepy does Dave Franco look? I still can’t believe them as a couple, they look so off!

  12. Betsy says:

    This is based on a real show? What the…?

    My dislike of all forms of wrestling is at war with my love of Allison Brie and 80s nostalgia. Damn you, Netflix.

  13. Jane says:

    The show is not very interesting, and Alison’s character is very annoying. Watch the documentary on GLOW (also on Netflix) instead.