This brutal comedy from Netflix dramatises the bizarre 1980s TV phenomenon 'Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling'
Carefully balancing the exploitative beginnings of its real-life inspiration (1985-1990’s Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) and the conversely empowering message it provided at the time, GLOW fictionalises the story of a group of aspiring actors and models who turned to wrestling for a shot at fame. The cast – among them Kate Nash, Mad Men’s Alison Brie and Nurse Jackie‘s Betty Gilpin – tell us about it.
Competition for parts was fierce
Alison Brie: “When I was told that they didn’t think I was right to play [the main character] Ruth, I was even more fired up to prove them wrong. They made me jump through a lot of hoops to see if I was willing to. I was like: ‘Whatever you want! I’ll come in again, I’ll do a weird rap, I’ll fly to Toronto to read with Betty Gilpin, we’ll do a full fight scene for you guys…’ It was a very satisfying job to book – we essentially got to play two different characters: the nuance of these characters’ lives outside of the ring and then the larger-than-life superhero qualities they possess in the ring.”
The real-life Glow is prime inspo
Betty Gilpin: “It was absolutely insane and ridiculous, a sort-of pornographic, sort-of not explosion of 1985. It was amazing. But once I got the script I stopped watching the original show because I didn’t want to inadvertently steal from anybody.”
GLOW was inspiring then and it is now
Alison Brie: “When GLOW first aired it really inspired a lot of young girls and made them think that women could do anything men could do – maybe even better. I hope our show will be similarly inspiring.”
Kate Nash: “It’s been the most inspiring experience of my life because I’ve done things now with my body that I never thought I could ever do. It was amazing to have this new relationship with my body, like: ‘This is how you take a front bump. This is how you fall. This is how you run the ropes and throw each other around.’ I can’t wait for young girls to watch it and suddenly be like: ‘Oh, I could have this other thing with my body that isn’t about being perfect.”
The wrestling is totally legit
Betty Gilpin: “We trained for four and a half weeks before we started shooting. It was incredible: we started with little moves and eventually progressed to body slams and suplexes and jumping off the ropes.”
Kate Nash: “We were taught by Chavo Guerrero Jr. He’s a legend in the wrestling community and his uncle actually taught the original GLOW girls in the ’80s.”
It might secretly teach Donald Trump something
Betty Gilpin: “Donald Trump crafted his character in the wrestling world – he’s the ultimate heel [bad guy] figure. He was really involved in the WWE and would make appearances all the time – there’s footage. I’m hoping he’ll see the trailer, see boobs and butts and be like ‘I’m gonna watch that.’ Our boobs and butts could be a Trojan horse to get into the minds of people like Donald Trump: and all of a sudden the Trojan horse opens and it’s a show about Planned Parenthood and issues facing women. With plenty of boobs and butts on the side.”