Britney Young on Why 'GLOW' Season 3 Is More Than Vegas Glitz & Glamour
The women of GLOW have set their sights on the bright lights of Las Vegas during season three of the popular Netflix series. Yet they find having their name on the show marquee of the Fan-Tan can affect them in different ways as Britney Young, who plays Carmen, teases.
“When people think of us in Vegas, they think showgirls, gambling, glitz and glamour. We really want to show the darker side of Vegas,” she said.
“Everyone thinks everyone has fun in Vegas, but no. Some people don't want to be there and don’t have a good time. I thought that was really interesting because most people who go to Vegas are there for the weekend. These girls are there for a year. It’s interesting where we are all like, ‘Yeah, Vegas baby!’ By the end it’s, ‘When is the next flight to L.A.? We’re all ready to go.’”
The sets may appear bigger and bolder this year, but the bond the Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin led cast and crew has created remains at the show’s core. Young is excited for audiences to get a little more from characters not always featured prominently. She names performances by Ellen Wong, Gayle Rankin and Jackie Tohn that “blow people’s minds.” Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis adds a shot of additional star power in the role of entertainment director Sandy Devereaux St. Clair. Young was ecstatic reading her on the call-sheet.
“An absolute legend,” she said. “I remember the first day she was there, she came up to all of us when we were doing a group scene. She said how much she loved the show. She gave all of us hugs and wanted to take a group picture. It felt like she had been with us the whole time. She did fall in line with us and wanted to get to know us all and how the show worked.
“The few scenes I have with her, it’s like a masterclass in learning how to really channel these characters and how to be an amazing actress. Also, the fact she is a professional. So amazing, sweet and kind. She fell in line perfectly with the 1980s Vegas. She looked so great in everything [costume designer] Beth Morgan puts her in. It felt like we had been working with her for years. I think that’s a testament to her and the person she is.”
Young, whose in-ring persona Machu Picchu, feels a newfound confidence when it comes to diving into scenes coming back for the third chapter. She credits the writers and creators and executive producers Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch for having the trust in her for giving great moments.
“Season two, I felt like I wrestled more than I acted,” Young said. “I think I was the only one who had a wrestling match or scene in pretty much every episode. For season three, I feel like I got these really meaty and dramatic scenes. But also funny and great stuff. Watching these amazing women and men do what they are good at...I learn from them and see what they do and how I can do the same thing and make it my own.”
For Young, the wrestling aspect of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is no exception. The cast have picked up the action sequences quicker and remembering the moves. It’s similar to riding a bike.
“[Wrestling coordinator] Chavo Guerrero Jr. and [stunt coordinator] Shauna Duggins look at us and are like, ‘Oh, I guess we are ready to learn new things.’ And it has only been a couple of days,” Young recalled.
With the profile of women’s wrestling reaching new historic heights, GLOW has helped bring fresh eyes to WWE. The new cover of the “Blockbuster” issue of ESPN Magazine features Brie standing alongside champ Becky Lynch. There is a symbiotic relationship with the two forms of entertainment. Young and others in the group have become huge wrestling fans after working on the series. Learning the history gave her a respect for the business.
“The wrestling fan base has been really good to us. What I appreciate most is they keep us on our game,” she said. “We have gone to matches where the wrestlers aren’t connecting, putting on a good match or a good story. Those fans call them out. They do the same with us. We’ll get messages and tweets saying we should have done things a certain way or bringing ideas to us. They hold us accountable.
“They are taking us seriously and are fans of our work. With GLOW and even the movie Fighting with My Family, we are showing wrestling and honoring it and trying to bring more people to WWE and all these different promotions. Women work their asses off. They should be getting the same respect. It’s nice seeing all the fandoms coming together to make the sport better.”
And as dedicated viewers of GLOW anticipate the next round of 10 episodes, Young gives some hints of what to expect. How will the Vegas residency and environment change the once sheltered Carmen?
“She is definitely breaking out of her shell a lot more. I think being in Vegas, she is still trying to find her way with this group of women,” Young said. “Where does she fit in with these girls? Where does she fit in the grand scheme of GLOW? I think where we leave her in season two, she essentially lost two of her best friends Rhonda and Bash.
“She feels she needs to fill that emptiness with something. In Vegas, she goes out, partying with the girls, staying up late. As the season progresses, she realizes what am I doing? That she doesn’t need to be this Vegas party girl. I need to be Carmen. And Carmen wants to be a wrestler.
The actress’s own memories of the popular entertainment destination are far from scandalous. Her first time going was for a school cheerleading trip.
“I don’t know if I have done the typical Vegas. Usually, when I go, I laid out by the pool, took a nap and ate somewhere,” Young said. “I remember the last time I went, my friend and I went to Madame Tussauds for four hours taking pictures with celebrity figures. I’m not a huge drinker or gambler. I don’t know if I do Vegas the right way.”
GLOW Season 3, Friday, August 9, Netflix