How Betty Transformed Into a WWE-Style Rage Machine

How Betty Transformed Into a WWE-Style Rage Machine

GQ spoke to Betty about her newest project GLOW! Check out the interview below.

How GLOW’s Betty Gilpin Transformed Into a WWE-Style Rage Machine

The actress you’ve seen everywhere talks about training for Netflix’s hit wrestling show and its refreshingly human-sized roles for women.

Betty Gilpin is doing something right. After a number of appearances on Dick Wolf vehicles like Law & Order and SVU and Criminal Intent—the apparent ritual hazing of every young actor coming out of New York—Gilpin has found herself firmly in the upper echelon of prestige television.

That was her at the tail-end of Nurse Jackie. And again, butting heads with Lizzy Caplan in Masters of Sex. And again, on American Gods, where she doesn’t actually play a god and yet manages to steal every scene she’s in. But where she’s really captivated us is on Netflix’s GLOW, as soap opera star-turned-stay-at-home mom-turned-wrestler Debbie Eagan, a.k.a. Liberty Belle. How’s she feeling now that her first foray into the world of pro wrestling is now available to the masses? Pretty sore, actually.

GQ: I was very, very excited when I first heard that GLOW was going to be coming to Netflix in this capacity.
Betty Gilpin: I’m so glad!
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Betty talks “GLOW” with Variety

Betty Gilpin on Playing a Pro Wrestler in Netflix’s ‘GLOW’: ‘It’s Like Couples Therapy’

The daughter of actor parents, Betty Gilpin has wound up channeling the medical profession — in recurring roles as Dr. Carrie Roman in Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and as researcher Nancy Leveau on “Masters of Sex.” But she trades in her lab coat for wrestling tights in Netflix’s “GLOW,” which revolves around a troupe of women grapplers.
This story first appeared in the July 11, 2017 issue of Variety.

What attracted you to the role of Debbie in “GLOW”?
I related to Debbie a lot. Debbie is a former soap opera actress who felt like she was using only 10% of what she could do as an actor. The world she was in valued things about her that were going to expire, like her looks, and as they’re expiring she’s in a place of ‘What will the world value me for? The Barbie-ness is fading.’ I think at that moment she finds her inner rage, and that power is far more valuable than Barbie Bucks.

How did you prepare for a role like this? 
We did a month of wrestling training with Chavo Guerrero Jr. of WWE, and then we trained throughout shooting — five months total. [Co-star] Alison [Brie] and I did all the moves you see in the series. Being the taller, curvier person to Ali, I did a lot of lifting her, throwing her. We learned body slams, head scissors, sunset flip.  …  It’s really a trust exercise. The victim is doing just as much work as the aggressor. It’s like couples therapy; everyone should do it.

Tell us your initial meet-cute with acting? Did you have an early mentor?
I had many mentors. I grew up watching my parents do plays. The actress Jade Smith-Cameron was in the first play I did and she was so kind to me and made me feel like even though this profession can be scary, it still always involves magic if you let it. And watching Edie Falco be the quiet power she is was really inspirational.

Everyone says they have a book in them. What would your book be about?
My book would be about a person that I feel I am on the inside, which is like a combination of Elaine Stritch and Shirley Temple. So maybe it’s like if Shirley Temple was 102 years old … and a drinker … and was posted up at a nightly cabaret show in Tulsa — the dark cabaret side of Shirley Temple. And she has to solve a [criminal ] case, so it’s a thriller.

Things you didn’t know about Betty Gilpin


“GLOW” Sets Up a Multi-Season Run

How ‘GLOW’ Sets Up a Multi-Season Run

The Netflix series’ co-creators, along with stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, look ahead for THR.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the entire first season of Netflix’s GLOW.]

The first season of GLOW was designed to feel like an origin story.

Netflix’s female wrestling series took its time introducing and forming its characters — both in and out of the ring — during its first nine episodes. The story built to a big finale in the tenth and final half-hour: creating the pilot episode for what would go on to become the first-ever female wrestling TV series.
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GLOW: 1×01 – “Pilot” Screen Captures

Marie Claire UK – Reporter Style (July 2017)

I’ve added two scans of Betty for Marie Claire UK (July 2017).

Betty on “Ask Me Another”

From Netflix’s GLOW, Betty Gilpin talks about larger-than-life female wrestlers and making weird character faces. Then she plays a round of “Wrestling Name, Phish Song or Essie Nail Polish Color.”

How Betty Found Her Inner “Chest-Pounding Cavewoman”

Betty recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter. Check out the interview below!

‘GLOW’: How Betty Gilpin Found Her Inner “Chest-Pounding Cavewoman”

“We should all be using 100 percent of that capacity — especially now,” the actress tells THR of ‘GLOW’s’ relevance in today’s climate.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the entire first season of Netflix’s GLOW.]

Before GLOW was released on Friday, the Netflix series about lady wrestling felt like a “glitter-covered secret” that Betty Gilpin was tasked with keeping.
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Betty’s Essay for

‘Glow’ Star Betty Gilpin: What It’s Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs

Growing up, I was a self-loathing Igor who carried the queen’s books. My job was to be the sarcastic sherpa, quietly providing the farce and adoration then becoming part of the wall when cued. I don’t know when it was, but at some point I realized the obvious truth that I was a hideous goblin under a bridge, that the sound of my voice was like audible feces, and the presence of my body in a room was like bringing a moose carcass to brunch. I adopted the posture that Katie Holmes had as Joey in Dawson’s Creek: shoulders as high to one’s ears as possible, as if I could shrug my existence away. (To this day, I legitimately blame Dawson’s for my back problems.) I ate cucumbers and saltines—not because I wanted to look a certain way, but because I was so sad my appetite disappeared. It was the perfect costume; I was the smallest person in the room inside the smallest person in the room.

And then puberty was like, WA-BAM. Physically, I went from Justin Bieber to Jessica Rabbit. I gained 30 pounds of thigh, booty, and certified American jugs. And I quickly learned big boobs have the effect of announcing your presence in a room as if you’re cradling Gilbert Gottfried singing the opening to the “Circle of Life.” Pretty hard to disappear into the wall, which is what I’d taught myself to do before my tits grew to the size of pudding-filled manatee pups.

So in my 20s, I had to work doubly hard to disappear. The word “sorry” escaped my mouth a hundred times a day. I spent most of my time at parties trying to convince women that I hated myself, then had social hangovers about those conversations.
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Discovery: Betty Gilpin

Discovery: Betty Gilpin

In Glow, the new 1980s-set Netflix series produced by Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, and Jenji Kohan, Betty Gilpin plays Debbie, a soap actor who has relinquished her career to start a family. “We meet Debbie when she thinks that the movie of her life is coming to a close and the credits are rolling,” Gilpin explains. Soon after, however, Debbie makes a discovery at home that forces her to reassess her identity and her future. She agrees to join a new women’s wrestling show as Liberty Bell, its all-American star.

Raised by two New York actors, Gilpin spent much of her childhood watching her parents perform. “I grew up in a lot of stage managers’ booths, memorizing the lines,” she says. “I’m sure I was the most annoying child in existence.” While getting her B.A. from Fordham, she made her New York stage debut. Since then, she’s appeared Off-Broadway in venues like the Roundabout Theatre, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Signature Theatre, and in smart television dramas such as Nurse Jackie and Masters of Sex. Glow, which comes out tomorrow on Netflix, follows quickly on the heels of another exciting job for Gilpin: playing Audrey the Starz adaptation of Neil Gamain’s American Gods.

AGE: 30.

HOMEBASE: Brooklyn, New York. I just re-watched Ghost, and Whoopi Goldberg mentions she lives in a rough neighborhood. She’s like, “I live in Prospect Heights!” Times have changed.

INTRO TO ACTING: I grew up going to the theater with my parents. It was a different world for New York actors [then]; you did theater and Law & Order, and you went to L.A. for everything else. My parents mainly did theater, and that is their first love. They worked in a lot of Off-Broadway theaters in New York and regional theaters throughout the Northeast.

My parents were not keen on me joining the industry. The rule was I had to go to college first and graduate, and I couldn’t go to a conservatory. I could major in theater, but I had to go somewhere where I had to take science and math and history as well. I think they were hoping that I’d fall in love with something else while I was there. I did not. I definitely was stoned through all my math classes and took theater of the absurd very seriously. I started doing plays in New York while I was at Fordham, but I did graduate by the skin of my teeth.
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Betty Joins “Isn’t It Romantic”

Betty Gilpin Joins Rebel Wilson In New Line’s ‘Isn’t It Romantic’
EXCLUSIVE: Betty Gilpin, who co-stars in Netflix’s upcoming women’s wrestling dramedy GLOW, has been set to join the cast of Isn’t It Romantic, a New Line Cinema comedy toplined by Rebel Wilson. The pic, to be directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, has a February 14, 2019 release date. Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra are also already aboard.

Wilson stars as Natalie, a cynical woman who doesn’t believe in love, who wakes up one day to find herself trapped inside a romantic comedy. Gilpin will play Natalie’s assistant Whitney, one of her best friends. But in Natalie’s alternate universe Whitney is Natalie’s mortal enemy and becomes the assistant from hell.

Erin Cardillo wrote the original script, which Dana Fox and Katie Silberman are rewriting. Todd Garner, Grant Scharbo, Jeremy Stein and Gina Matthews are producing.

Gilpin, whose credits include Nurse Jackie and Masters Of Sex, recently was seen on Starz’s American Gods. GLOW, which stars Alison Brie and is created and executive produced by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, premieres on Netflix on June 23.

Gilpin is repped by ICM Partners and David Williams Management.


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