For six seasons (but not a movie — yet), Alison Brie played Community‘s resident nice girl, Annie Edison. But her role on Netflix’s new wrestling series, Glow, will put the actress in touch with her wild side. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these exclusive posters for the half-hour comedy, in which Brie plays an up-and-coming player in the fondly remembered ’80s female wrestling league, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, or GLOW. “If you can’t tell by the middle finger, I’m a bad guy,” Brie tells Yahoo TV of her wrestling persona. “I think villains have all the fun, and that’s certainly true in the ring.”
When she’s not in the ring, Brie is simply Ruth, who the actress describes as “the least superficial character I’ve ever played. In general, she’s a good person, but she does a really bad thing in the pilot episode, and it’s a lot of work to overcome it. I like the challenge of playing a character who is trying to win people back over onto her side.”
And she’s got some formidable personalities to try to win over. Creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who previously collaborated with Glow executive producer Jenji Kohan on Orange Is the New Black, specifically set out to fill their fictionalized version of the league with a wide range of faces and body types.
“A lot of our early conversations had nothing to do with any of the characters,” Mensch reveals to Yahoo TV. “We started talking about bodies, and body shapes and how — since this is such a show about bodies — important it was to have all different shapes and sizes in the ring.”
That’s why smaller, scrappier fighters like Brie’s Ruth have to contend with powerhouses like Kia Stevens, a real-life pro wrestler who appeared on the WWE as Kharma and went by the moniker Awesome Kong when she wrestled with TNA Wrestling. “The joy of the show is that there are 14 women who are distinct characters,” says Flahive. “Any one of them could have the potential to have a main story.”
Aside from the chance to engage in some body-slamming action, Brie’s favorite part of joining Glow was working with the creative team — including the same hair and makeup crew she worked with on Mad Men — to design Ruth’s distinct in-ring look, complete with such ‘80s touches as permed hair and plenty of glittery eye shadow. “Most of the time, I wear very plain leotards until we get into our really glammed-up wrestling looks,” she says, likening the ladies’ wrestling outfits to homemade superhero costumes. “Even at their most awesome, they still look like you could have bought some glittery fabric, sewed it together in an interesting way, and let it roll!”
Glow premieres on Friday, June 23, on Netflix.
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