See the cover for Betty Gilpin's empowering book All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns
Betty Gilpin is equal parts excited and terrified to share her thoughts with the world in her empowering first book, All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns. "I can't believe it's really happening," she tells EW. And while the hilarious, intimate, and candid collection of essays about her life and what it means to be a woman doesn't come out until Sept. 6, EW is exclusively revealing the eye-popping cover right now.
Gilpin was inspired to write All the Women in My Brain when the world shut down two years ago and, like everyone, she all of a sudden found herself with more free time than she'd ever had before. "My self-loathing and insecurity that usually silences me and tells me that all my ideas are bad was really upstaged by the crumbling of society," she says. "I realized it's up to us to decide if our fate is magic or sweatpants, and no one is going to sit me down and force me to write this book ever. And when society shut down in the pandemic, I realized I've got time, both all the time in the world and no time at all, to write this book, so maybe I should just do it. But now that society is trickling back, so are the voices in my head telling me no one wants this book. If I reread the draft, I'm just going to delete the entire thing, so I don't think I can read it again."
While her self-doubts are rearing up again, she still knows how important the themes of the book are for women to hear right now — or really, for any reader who's ever felt like they were more, or at least weirder, than the world expected. "Part of what I learned writing this book is that a lot of the things that I felt were personality curses of mine alone is actually a very common part of being alive and being a woman," she says. "This time in history is all about women saying things out loud with their eyes squeezed shut, being like, 'I know I'm the only one that feels this way, but I have to say this out loud,' and when she opens her eyes, 10 women around her are like, 'No, I feel that exact same way.' So I'm hoping that will happen. I tried to talk about the darker things I feel, and battling what it feels like to be alive."
But Gilpin warns that this isn't the kind of book that serves as some kind of juicy tell-all about the TV and film roles she's played over the years, from GLOW to Nurse Jackie to The Hunt.
"While yes, I do touch on being an actor and kind of eye-roll-y commentary of the entertainment business, this is not me being like, I assume sarcastic lawyers with split ends in Ohio know who I am and want to read about my lip gloss technique," she says. "This is not that kind of actor book. It's more like I realized that my strange and wonderful experiences as a sometimes-working actor have proved to be the perfect allegory for being a woman in this world — feeling like you have to audition for the job you already have, feeling like you have to maniacally cycle through selves to give whoever is in front of you the girl that they want, feeling like you have a quarter of the time that men do to achieve your dreams before the government deems you disgusting and banishes you to eat sleeves of tear-soaked saltines in bed 'til you die. It's a book for anybody that feels insane."
She also didn't want to use this book as a way to further eulogize GLOW after Netflix "unrenewed" the fourth and final season due to COVID. "I tried to be general when I talked about my career," she says. "I don't want this to be a book where I assume you've seen my work as an actor. I think that the game has changed where there are a million shows, a million actors, and I didn't want to alienate anyone by thinking, 'I haven't seen this so I'm not going to relate to the book.' But I think about GLOW every day. I love it so much, and my hope is that we do season 4 in 20 years, when my hip is even creakier than it is now."
All the Women in My Brain is available for preorder now.