Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alison Brie Talks Return to Series Television

Alison Brie, star of the new Netflix series GLOW, recently sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the series, and her career. Here's what she had to say:

Coming off of Mad Men and Community, what about GLOW made you want to return on TV?
"I couldn’t think of another thing that’s on right now to compare it to. Even when I watch it, the feel and look of it is more like an ‘80s movie than like anything  on TV right now. I'm just so proud of the show. I'm proud of all the women on it; I think everyone shines."

The show has a running commentary about women in Hollywood, which highlights what has changed — and what hasn't — since 1985. Is the 14-person, female-led GLOW part of the change?
"Yes, this show is definitely a part of the change that’s been coming on for a while now. There are a lot of shows on TV and streaming that star women. There are great roles for women happening right now — for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnic backgrounds. It’s a good time in television. But the film industry is still representative of what’s happening to the women at the start of this show [Gilpin’s character loses her gig when she gets pregnant]. It’s a very narrow alley that you’re expected to fit in if you want to work in film."

What still needs to improve for women in Hollywood?
"Hollywood has been evolving and is always sort of changing. It’s taking baby steps. Shows like GLOW and Orange Is the New Black — people like Jenji Kohan and Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who created this show — are definitely leading the charge of creating interesting and exciting characters for all types of women and really aiding in finding roles for unknown actresses. It feels daunting to even break into the industry, and that’s something that hasn’t changed very much. That’s where these horror audition stories come from where we have all said, “Well, you gotta start somewhere.” At this point, in some ways, it’s nice that not everyone has to feel that way anymore. There are opportunities for people that you haven’t seen before to have a great breakout role in a really cool show. The TV landscape has changed, especially with the streamers, like Netflix, taking bigger risks creatively. Even five years ago, when Orange Is the New Black went up, that seemed like a real big and shocking risk to have so many unknown women starring in a new show, and look how that turned out."

The season takes it time to set up the official TV series. Is the intention that this could go on for many seasons, since there is still a lot to tell? (Netflix has yet to hand out a renewal.)
"Absolutely. There are so many lives to delve into. I know that it was important to Liz and Carly to have a really slow burn for this first season. We give you a taste. The original GLOW was on TV for four seasons. But you see how rich this show is and full of different characters. You can mine those characters for years. On the original GLOW, it was a slight revolving door in terms of some women who were on the show for years and years and other new characters coming in. So, there’s a lot of possibilities for longevity."

How has your body changed from the training?
"I just have so much more muscle mass to my body. I feel a lot stronger in general. My arms are much more muscular. The way I workout is different, the way I eat is different. I’m always thinking about protein and eating enough calories, whereas in the past as an actress, I think the goal was to eat as little as possible sometimes. Now, that is not the case at all. More often I’m saying to someone, “We need to eat. We have to get a snack.” The way I feel about my body changed a lot while shooting this show in a really positive way. I feel like I have more confidence than ever and I really learned to love my body and work with my body rather than against it, which is healthy."

Read the full interview (which contains some spoilers for season 1 of GLOW), at The Hollywood Reporter.

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