The writers of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling did a bit of ring-worthy bobbing and weaving when asked during this morning’s TCA presentation whether the next season of the show would take place in Las Vegas.
“We have a lot of dreams for how we would shoot the show,” said Liz Flahive, adding that she had nothing to announce, but added tantalizingly, that she looks forward to “exploring Vegas fully.”
Inspired by the short-lived but beloved show from the 80s, GLOW tells the fictional story of Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), an out-of-work, struggling actress who finds one last chance for stardom when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling.
Ruth finds herself thrown in with a dozen Hollywood misfits, where she competes for screen time 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.
The director is a grindhouse auteur, Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), who now must lead this group of women on the journey to wrestling stardom.
The performers talked about preparing for their roles, training with professional wrestler and actor Salvador “Chavo” Guerrero Jr. Training and female stunt performers who translate the moves for female bodies. It’s a month-long, five-day-a-week physical conditioning before shooting even begins.
“The women in GLOW, like us, were actresses learning how to wrestle,” said Brie, noting that contemporary female wrestlers are more polished than their predecessors in the ring. “You see a lot more hair pulling.”
Kia Stevens, a professional wrestler turned actress, said female athletes are considered the “popcorn match” — the entertainment before the main (male) event.
“You have to tell a story and make yourself a star in two minutes,” Stevens said. “Women have to endure so much more to make it.”
Stevens talked about drawing from her own wrestling experience in portraying Tammé Dawson, adopts the persona of The Welfare Queen, an angry black woman stereotype who wields food stamps. In GLOW, who keeps the details of her work from her eldest son, who has just started at Stanford Medical School.
“I could totally related to Tammé and what she went through,” Stevens said. “When I first stared, I was asked to take the name the Amazing Kong, me being black. I chose to take it and make it to be a term of respect.”
Stevens said her family was supportive. But she nonetheless worried about how she would be perceived.
“There was that moment of, ‘Oh my god. What do you think of me doing this, of me banging my fists like this?'” said Stevens, adding she worked through the indignities. “I’m now in a position in entertainment to make sure that girls like me never have to do that.”
Gilpin said her character in GLOW discovers an outlet in the ring, where, despite the cultural pressure to be focused on her nails and her outfit, she is given the opportunity to be special, loud and 1,000-feet tall.
“Glow is show within this show where we get to be the warriors we thought we were going to become as little girls,” Gilpin said.