Britt Baron Talks Teen Angst & #MeToo Moments in ‘GLOW’ Season 2
If you’ve yet to binge the recently-released second season of GLOW on Netflix, you’re missing out. Jenji Kohan’s series follows the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, an all-female wrestling league made up of struggling actresses. The show was inspired by an actual wrestling show of the same name that had a run in the ‘80s.
In season two, Britt Baron returns as Justine. The youngest GLOW, she revealed that the show’s director is her father in the first season finale. As the two develop a relationship in the new episodes, we get to see a more age-appropriate side of Justine – skipping school, fighting with her mom, and planning to run away with her punk rock boyfriend.
We recently caught up with Baron to chat about everything from developing new moves to meeting the original GLOWs, and how the show has grown in the era of the #MeToo movement.
I loved the first season of GLOW. What’s it been like seeing the fan reactions?
It’s kind of surreal because you’re so close to the project. It feels like our little baby, and we’re so proud of it. I think with season one, everyone thought it was going to be really good and a big deal, but it was my first show. So, I didn’t really know. I had no barometer, really. So, I guess I was looking to people like Ali (Brie) or Betty (Gilpin) or our showrunners who were very sure that it would do well. But it was a really pleasant surprise, because you never know. There’s so much TV now, it’s such a saturated market. I feel so freaking fortunate to be on a show that has been received so well and that I’m proud of. And I feel like the thing about GLOW is that’s a show I would have watched, regardless if I’d been cast or not. I love Jenji (Kohan’s) stuff.
What was it like getting back together with the cast?
We’d all been apart for a while. A lot of the girls live in New York or Canada or the UK, so for months, we kind of didn’t see each other. But because we train together for four weeks before we start shooting, and I think that process alone is a very intimate, vulnerable thing where you have to trust each other, we’ve just built an unbreakable bond. I think the best thing about GLOW is that years from now, it’ll be the relationships that mean the most to me.
Now that the characters are officially wrestlers, was the training more strenuous this season?
Well, first season, none of us had any wrestling experience besides Kia Stevens, who plays Welfare Queen. So, there’s just a lot of basics that you need to learn. And it hurts the first 20 times you try to fall on your back in a back bump. Surprisingly, it’s kind of like riding a bike, we all fell right back into it. It’s exciting because once you know the basics, you can start having fun. We got to learn more complex moves, instead of basic jumping off the ropes, back bumps, front bumps, the kind of stuff we did in the first season. It’s important because the girls, just like the characters, are getting more advanced – and there’s so much wrestling in season two, and the moves are bigger. That’s a big story arc, where they need to compete with the male shows. They needed to step up their moves and push themselves, and I genuinely think we also did as actors.
You’ve gotten the chance to meet some of the original GLOW ladies. Have you had a chance to compare your skills or anything?
Oh gosh, no! Not yet. But I think it would be so awesome if we got them to cameo in a future season, like they could come in as trainers or competition. They’re just so sweet and really supportive.
And I know one of the originals, Mount Fiji, died this year. Did you get a chance to meet her at all?
No, I wish, she was sick for awhile. But there’s a wonderful documentary about them. And if you see what these women put their bodies through, that left lasting damage. It’s not just like GLOW is done and now their bodies are fine. You’re really hurting yourself. But everyone loved Mount Fiji, she was kind of the heart of the girls, so positive. You could just tell watching the documentary, she just emulates good vibes.
In season one, we found out that Sam was Justine’s dad. How does that relationship grow in season two?
In season two, Justine has moved in with Sam. It’s such a bombshell at the end of season one. So, now with season two, you kind of get to see Justine finally, without this mask on. She had this really tough exterior, and she’s trying to act older than she is. In season two, I talked a lot with our showrunners, and they really wanted to see Justine as just a teenager. She’s different than the other girls, she’s not a full-fledged adult. She’s still figuring out who she is, and I think with Sam’s relationship, you kind of get to see her struggle with her expectations of who she thought he’d be versus the reality. I feel like a lot of people, at some point or another, go through that. She spent her whole life watching his films and had built this ideal version of him; and Sam Sylvia is just never gonna be the number one dad. So, you get to see them reconcile and meet halfway; and it’s nice, because you get to see Sam’s softer side. He’s such a grumpy old man. It was such a joy to see him kind of reach out and protect her and care for her in a way.
Would you say Marc Maron has that same kind of soft interior, rough exterior in real life?
Yes, I feel like Marc is so phenomenal on this show because Sam is very similar. Marc is so much nicer than Sam is, but he has a tough exterior. He’s kind of huge in the comic world, no bullshit. But once you get to know him, you see him as such a good guy with such a soft side. And the girls, we’ve roped him into so many birthday cards we send and videos we make. He’s just such a team player, it’s been wonderful getting to know him. Plus, we love having him as a scene partner because he’s confident on set. He’ll speak up when we have different directors and it feels like things might be taken in a way that’s not right for the character. He will always speak up, which I appreciate, because as the youngest in the cast, I get a little timid and I don’t want to step on any toes.
Since season one aired, the #MeToo movement has really taken over Hollywood. Would you say that kind of changed the atmosphere on set, being that it’s mostly women?
Yes, we were all talking about it constantly. It was great to be with a bunch of strong, intelligent women to kind of discuss what was going on, first of all. And second of all, we have a kind of #MeToo moment in season two that I think was written before #MeToo happened. And the joy of being part of this show is that we have almost entirely women writers, which is important because these are women’s stories being told. I just think that’s where you get in murky water, when you have men writing for what they think it’s like to be a woman. So, because we have these amazing women writers writing from their own experience, a lot of these things are very authentic and real. And I hope they resonate. I think they do a really nice job of discussing kind of controversial or sensitive topics in a very sensitive way. It’s not pushed in your face, they do a nice job of exploring all sides, especially because it’s in the ‘80s. These characters are complicated, and I’m excited for people to see how different women in the cast react when we get to our kind of #MeToo moment, because not all of them are supportive. You get to see how far we’ve come from the ‘80s and how far we have left to go.
Season two of GLOW is now available to stream on Netflix.