Betty Gilpin explains how playing a wrestler on GLOW helped her play a nun on Mrs. Davis
One wouldn't think that a gorgeous lady of wrestling would have much in common with a nun, but thanks to the physical comedy in Mrs. Davis, Betty Gilpin found the connection.
"GLOW was such a crash course in using [everything] from your skull to your toes — everything is involved in your character," Gilpin, on the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, says of the Netflix series where she played a wrestler. And that series "totally" made her more comfortable playing a nun who's on a mission to destroy a Siri-like AI technology in the Peacock sci-fi dramedy Mrs. Davis, where she gets caught up in a bit of action on her journey. "I mean, a onesie-panted habit is a wrestling costume in itself," she says, laughing.
But Gilpin recalls one scene, though — episode 3's rodeo and the Excalibattle, where people compete to see who can keep their hands on a large replicate of the sword Excalibur the longest — that she and costar Jake McDornan thought their physicality was going to get them in trouble.
"Jake and I would always tease each other, especially [in episode 3] where we were so far from each other physically, doing scenes together — he would be doing something on the rock that I couldn't really see, and I would be doing something in the stands — and then on lunch breaks, we would see each other and I'd be like, 'Did you see how big I was going with my hand movements?' He'd be like, 'Did you see what I was doing?' And we're like, "Are we going to acting jail? Is this too much?" Gilpin recalls as they tried to go bigger with their actions. But they ended up finding comfort in their surroundings. "We were very unsure how it would all land 'cause we were really swinging for the fences. Everywhere, especially at Excalibattle, you would turn and see a background character with horns and blood and screaming. It's like, well, I guess if everyone's going for it, we should go for it too."
Hear more from EW critic Kristen Baldwin's interview in the podcast episode below.
Also on the new episode, we discuss Gilpin's category — Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie — and two other shows that should be on audiences' and Emmy voters' radars: Pete Davidson's Bupkis, and Disney+'s graphic novel adaptation American Born Chinese.
Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights leading up to all the major award shows.