The star of Netflix comedy ‘Glow,’ tells Moneyish how Hollywood has changed post #MeToo, and the moment she felt financially independent
Acting out a scene straight from the #MeToo movement struck a personal chord with “Glow” star Alison Brie.
The Emmy nominated Netflix comedy about female wrestlers in the 1980s had an episode in season two where Brie’s character Ruth Wilder meets her TV network boss who makes a move on her in a hotel room — a scene that echos the real life horror survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged serial harassment faced.
“It was emotional to shoot,” Brie, 35, told Moneyish. “What was most interesting to me about my own reaction was when I first read it I thought, ‘is it bad enough? Is he crossing a line enough?’ It made me take a step back and say ‘wow, I’ve been in a lot of unfortunate situations and my standard is low,’” she adds, of the scene in which her character winds up in a hotel room after a business dinner with the TV network exec who’s more interested in getting in her pants than helping her acting career.
Ruth manages to escape in the scene, and Brie says she hoped it served as a message for women to stop normalizing the behavior of male predators and continue to bravely share their stories.
“So many women are sharing those types of experiences. We’ve gotten a chance to realize that we’re not alone, and coming to terms with the kinds of treatment we deserve as women,” Brie says.
Brie recently voiced her support for Christine Blasey Ford, calling her “brave” on social media for detailing her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last week while encouraging others to “believe survivors.” And earlier this year, she wore black to the Golden Globes in solidarity with the #TimesUp movement. And the former “Community” star says she believes the women’s movement has had an impact on Hollywood.
“It feels like things are starting to change,” she says. “This time last year I think felt a lot different and everyone was really rocked, and now it sort of has become a more regular part of the conversation. This movement is about awareness and you have to have awareness to move towards change.”
While the hairspray and spandex-clad women of “Glow” are portraying a period comedy of the 80s, the themes of female empowerment are more relevant than ever.
“Glow,” from creator Liz Flahive (“Nurse Jackie”) and executive producer Jenji Kohan (“Orange is the New Black”), brings women to the forefront on and off screen, something that is essential considering that while women represent 50.8% of the U.S. population, they made up only 31.8% of speaking characters in films last year. More and more media conglomerates like Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are pledging to adopt the Inclusion Rider, an equality clause popularized by Frances McDormand at this year’s Oscars in order to boost “diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera.”
“‘Glow’ is a show that’s run by women. We have to female showrunners. We have over 50% of our directors who are female; over 90% of our writers are female and it makes a big difference having women at the top,” Brie notes. “It changes the whole atmosphere on a set for women.”
Like her character Ruth, who felt like she was struggling to be seen as a star, Brie can identify with similar challenges she faced as a working actress.
“I’ve connected with Ruth as a character in a lot of ways, mostly because she is a person who is constantly underestimated. It’s up to her to prove people wrong, and prove that she’s capable of more than people expect from her,” Brie says. “I think that that pretty much sums up how a lot of how actresses feel working in this industry. I certainly have felt that way before.”
Being financially independent has also given Brie a renewed sense of empowerment she said, while promoting the upgraded American Express Gold Card at an event in New York City on Thursday.
“I was raised to be pretty frugal,” she admits. “After college, I lived at my mother’s house until I was shooting my third season of ‘Community’ and sixth season of ‘Mad Men.’ I really waited until the last min to go out on my own. It was a really good feeling to move into my first house on my own. That’s probably when I felt the most independent. I was too old. I was probably like 28-years-old.”
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