Betty Gilpin added a third Emmy nomination to her resume thanks to the character Debbie Eagan, aka “Liberty Belle,” on Netflix’s “GLOW.” This marks the third consecutive Best Comedy Supporting Actress nomination for Gilpin, who remains the only member of the “GLOW” cast to score with Emmy voters. Though she continues to be the awards good luck charm for “GLOW,” she has nothing but admiration for her fellow actors. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
When taking some other acting jobs, Gilpin laments “I’m really being asked to do five percent of what I can do.” With the upcoming Season 4 of the Netflix wrestling comedy being the final installment, she adds that “I know that I will miss that so much about ‘GLOW.’ We’re being asked to do 100% of what we can do, physically and creatively.” The role of Debbie is a tremendous showcase for the actress. She explains that she might dive into a heavy dramatic scene one day, but the next she will be decked out in glitter and spandex while making silly faces in the wrestling ring.
Comedic antics in the ring took center stage in the episode “Freaky Tuesday,” where the ladies of GLOW decided to swap characters for one of their shows. “It was crazy fun,” Gilpin gushes. She had initial jitters about swapping roles, and taking on Alison Brie’s Russian “Zoya” persona. “Then I remembered the job I was on,” admits the actress, “it’s such a love fest.” She credits her change of tune to Brie’s enthusiasm for the acting experiment. As the duo donned their own versions of each other’s characters, Gilpin confesses that they “could not stop making each other laugh.”
Gilpin also had the privilege of sharing many scenes with the legendary Geena Davis, an opportunity she refers to as “incredible.” Season 3 of “GLOW” tempts Debbie down a path where she can marry rich and “put her feet up” according to Gilpin. But Davis’ Las Vegas casino owner serves as the rare role model of a businesswoman in the 1980’s that Debbie so desperately needs.
She refers to Davis as “an inspiration,” and not just for Debbie. She describes how Davis used “this gorgeous shell as a trojan horse” for her brilliant intellect during a time when the world wasn’t ready for a powerful, smart woman. In a sort of meta twist, Debbie uses a similar tactic on “GLOW.” Still, Gilpin enjoys that the series is realistic to 1986. Debbie puts in more work than the men, but still faces more hurdles in climbing the corporate ranks. “They don’t make feminist propaganda wish fulfillment,” Gilpin explains. Gender equality may not be fixed with a monologue or zippy one-liner, but Gilpin is thankful for the “boundaryless” work she gets to perform as Debbie chooses the difficult path forward instead of the easy way out.
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