How Alison Brie proved Hollywood bigwigs wrong by playing a female wrestler

Published: June 30, 2017
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE

You may think you know Alison Brie from her roles in Mad Men and Community, but in the new Netflix series GLOW, we see an entirely new side to the star. In the series, Brie plays an out-of-work actor who finds work — rocking spandex and sequins — in the wrestling ring. The series is based off of an 80s series of the same name, and is the latest Netflix brainchild of Jenji Kohan of Orange is the New Black fame.

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

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“I’d really been looking for something different,” Yahoo Style quoted her as saying. “I wanted to get my hands dirty and I wanted to look different and I wanted to do something physical.”

Brie, therefore, fought for the part, because the powers that be in Hollywood couldn’t visualise her as the professional female wrestler Ruth Wilder. “I was excited to prove myself,” she said.  Notably on the show, an extremely wide range of female body types is represented — something you don’t often see on television or anywhere in entertainment, for that matter.

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

Brie says that shape diversity was paramount to GLOW’s creators Kohan, Carly Mensch, and Liz Flahive.

“The show is about women’s bodies.  It’s a show about how women use their bodies, and how they feel in their bodies. It was an empowering set to be on,” Brie added. “All the women on the show love their bodies. I’ve never been around more women who are comfortable in their own skin.”

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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

The wrestling training was crucial to Brie building that confidence within herself, and gave her a new approach to preparing her body for a role. “We were learning this new skill and felt so much more powerful than we’d felt before. We were surprising ourselves. As actresses, we can get so focused on wanting to be skinny and wanting to look in a way that we think people want us to look. When we were working on this show, it was like we were athletes. What we were eating and what we were doing outside the ring, was to prepare us. It was not about what we looked like.”

Naturally, that translated into how Brie felt about herself. Her husband, Dave Franco, “loves it,” she says of her GLOW-infused self-assurance and self-love.  “I’ve never felt more confident. I feel so strong. I feel powerful. I gained muscle mass and burned fat and everything worked better. I wanted to build strength to do cooler moves. I’ve never walked taller.”

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