Create & Cultivate 100: Entertainment: Alison Brie



Voted "Most Outgoing" by her high school senior year, GLOW team leader Alison Brie has likewise lead a very "outgoing" career. 

She never sticks to one schtick. Her characters vary. As does her acting style. She's taken major risks. 

She excels at balancing -- managing to work on Mad Men and Community simultaneously, seamlessly jumping between characters and decades.  On Mad Men, Alison played Trudy, the wife of Pete Campbell, a character she truly loved playing. ("A badass," she says.) On Community she played Annie Edison, elevating great writing to a hilarious level. 

And then she hunkered down to play a professional wrestler in GLOW-- Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress who joins a female professional wrestling TV show. And then she got a call from Steven Spielberg, director of The Post, to play a role opposite Meryl Streep. The Meryl Streep. 

She's wrestled her way to the top of her game, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her work on GLOW (AKA Glorious Ladies Of Wrestling.) The Screen Actor's Guild also nominated the cast of the wrestling dramedy as an ensemble.

In an era when more women are taking control-- hiring all female crews, writing their own roles, proving that all-female shows and female-led movies make dollars, championing other women on screen, and coming out in support of each other big time, Alison is someone who has been in the business and seen both sides. She also serves as executive producer on TV Land's Teachers, whose cast features 6 female leads. 

What can't she do? 

More from Alison below. 

On working on Mad Men:

Matt Weiner was fantastic at writing these complex characters for women in an era where they were trapped in stereotypical roles, but could wield power. They made men think that they had the power while secretly controlling everything. Trudy was such a badass.

On current Weinstein Era of Hollywood:

It made me think about my experiences, cataloguing encounters over the years, going: ‘Yeah that was inappropriate…’ It’s a strange time, but it’s exciting. I feel very moved by the courage of these women. I hope it’s going to influence great change. It’s like cleaning your room: you have to make a big mess before it becomes clean. We’re in a real big, dark mess. Hopefully we’ll achieve some sort of clarity.

"We’re in a real big, dark mess. Hopefully we’ll achieve some sort of clarity."

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On her role in GLOW:

It’s so fulfilling, so empowering. And I can fucking wrestle. I can wrestle even better this year than I could last year. What a weird thing! I do feel this role on GLOW is the role of a lifetime. I feel so proud of this role. Even working on it, it was the most fulfilled I’ve ever been on a job. Similar to Ruth, I feel like I get to show some different side of myself. This job alone feels like a moment, to me.

On how wrestling helped her learn to be confident: 

Learning how to wrestle was so empowering. You have to run at everything full force or you could get seriously injured. I do feel like I carry that confidence everywhere I go now. 

On why the role in GLOW appealed to her:

It really fulfilled everything I was looking for as an actor. It has comedy. It has drama and physical action, unlike any I had done before. It felt very exciting and different. 

On working with mostly women on the GLOW set: 

It’s interesting to me because I’ve always felt very comfortable on sets, and I love it, and I love working with men, and – even if I was aware of being sexualized – it has never really bothered me. But the absence of that was totally amazing. It was just very freeing, and very important for this kind of job, because we were taking such big risks physically in the ring, and with our characters. It made for a lot of amazing discoveries, because people just felt empowered to take bigger risks.

This interview has been editing and condensed from multiple sources.