Just ahead on its June 23 debut, attendees of Austin’s ATX Television festival were treated to a screening of Netflix’s upcoming wrestling comedy GLOW, which was followed by a Q&A discussion with co- creator/exec produced Liz Flahive, casting director Jennifer Euston, and stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin.
Inspired by the real story of the 1980s female wrestling league, GLOW, executive produced by Jenji Kohan, follows Ruth Wilder (Brie), an struggling actress in Los Angeles who finds one last chance for stardom when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling. In addition to working with 12 Hollywood misfits, Ruth also has to compete with Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), a former soap actress who left the business to have a baby only to be sucked back into work when her picture perfect life is not what it seems.
“We had never seen G.L.O.W before but we come to this great documentary about all the women of GlOW looking back on their time making the show,” said Flahive, when ask how she and co-creator Carly Mensch came across the project. At the time, the two were looking for a project to write together and “really wanted to have a lot of women. GLOW had that for sure”
“The camaraderie and the emotion, how deep it was for [the original women] and how the transformative the experience was what hooked us,” said Flahive.
For Brie, it was “the idea doing show about women wresting set in the 80s is already so wild exciting and unique but it’s the depth to the writing that drew me to it.”
So was the case for Gilpin, “I kept feeling like there were no parts for girl who want to play to the mezzanine. When I saw GLOW, which is the 80s, wrestling, hair, [exec producer] Jenji Kohan, I was like ‘oh my god this is a part where I was make as many faces as I want to.”
Though the original kitschy, Las Vegas-based syndicated TV series GLOW focused more the women’s lives as professional wrestlers, Flahive said the first season will combined elements in and outside of the ring. “The first season we really take our time. We’re starting at the audition and we’re going very slowly to when they get to find their characters, to how they get to the actual making of the pilot of GLOW.” She continued, “we’re not quite at the moment where they are living their wrestling characters 24-hours a day. We’re definitely starting to deal with the inner play of their selves and their wrestling personas and how those start to interact.”