Clad in sparkly spandex, neon lipstick and with hair teased up to the heavens, Netflix's newest series GLOW has gloriously thrust itself into our lives, plunging us into the bizarre and bonkers world of women's wrestling.
Based on a true TV show (also originally titled GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), #Netflix's delightful dramedy focuses on a group of struggling actresses and hopefuls who turn to wrestling to jump-start their flailing Hollywood careers and mundane lives — quite frankly, a move that is definitively more realistic than anything La La Land ever brought to the table. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer:
While the premise of the show may appear wacky and wild, it's the faces behind the purple eyeshadow and high-cut leotards that really make the new Netflix addition worth the binge. So without further ado, let's find out all about the 2017 stars that succeed in making all of our '80s neon dreams come to life, with our actress rundown below.
1. Alison Brie As Ruth 'Zoya The Destroyer' Wilder
Who is her character? A struggling actress who joins GLOW when her desperation for employment becomes too much.
Where do you know her from? Before Ruth was hopping from audition to audition in the hope of revamping her stalled acting career in #GLOW, Brie appeared in a slew of TV roles. Perhaps most notably, you'll recognize her as Annie Edison from Community and Trudy Campbell in AMC's Mad Men, giving her the rare opportunity to be a regular on two hit shows at the same time.
Chatting about her breakout years, Brie recently told The Guardian:
“It was a very exciting time. They were my first two real jobs. To have them simultaneously was just incredible. AMC was just starting to do scripted television; Mad Men was their first original series. And Community was part of NBC’s second heyday, where The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation was the landscape we were working in. As an actress it was very fulfilling because the shows were so different.”
Alongside those distinguished roles, in 2017 alone Brie was also the voice of Diane in BoJack Horseman, starred in her brother-in-law James Franco's vehicle The Disaster Artist, rom-com The Little Hours, and is currently filming Steven Spielberg's biographical government conspiracy drama The Papers. Girl's gotta lot on her plate.
2. Betty Gilpin As Debbie 'Liberty Belle' Eagan
Who is her character? Ruth's best friend before they became sworn enemies. Prior to GLOW, she was a soap star who retired to become a full-time mom.
Where do you know her from? Most notably you'll recognize Gilpin from Nurse Jackie — in which she appeared alongside Edie Falco, Merritt Wever and Peter Facinelli — as sexy medic Dr. Carrie Roman. Then in 2016 she appeared as the villainous Dr. Nancy Leveau in Masters of Sex and as a brilliant hacker named Mittens in Elementary, before hitting the jackpot with 2017's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.
3. Ellen Wong As Jenny 'Fortune Cookie' Chey
Who is her character? A pop culture fanatic from Cambodia.
Where do you know her from? Canadian actress Ellen Wong has worked on a variety of TV projects since she was a teen, making a name for herself as Knives Chau in 2010's indie hit Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. In 2013 she played Carrie's best friend in the Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries. In 2017 Wong also popped up in The Circle alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.
4. Kate Nash As Rhonda 'Britannica' Richardson
Who is her character? A ditzy British actress who had a thing for director Sam Sylvia.
Where do you know her from? First and foremost, you might know Kate Nash as the British pop star who churned out hits like "Foundations" and the lovingly titled "Dickhead" back in the '00s. However, with her music career on a pause, she tried her hand at acting, eventually landing a role in GLOW. In an interview with Radio Times, Nash revealed how she finally managed to reposition herself as a mainstream actor:
“I had auditioned for things and done a little bit of acting over the years. I got a pilot with Jenji Kohan [creator of OITNB and Executive Producer of GLOW] directed by Gus Van Sant, about the Salem witches, but it never got picked up. It was really cool. I was like in the woods shoving sticks up women’s vaginas. I felt very at home there! But Jenji liked my work on that, so when GLOW came up I got the part.”
5. Sydelle Noel As Cherry 'Junkchain' Bang
Who is her character? A former stuntwoman and ex-colleague of Sam Sylvia. She's the resident trainer and voice of reason for all the GLOW girls.
Where do you know her from? Sydelle Noel's acting résumé consisted largely of shorts before she landed a supporting role in the crime-drama Captive, also starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo. GLOW is Noel's first hefty TV role and she's clearly destined for great things, seeing as she's about to make her major movie debut with Black Panther next year. Before she got into acting, Noel was a professional athlete before a stress fracture forced her into early retirement.
6. Britney Young As Carmen 'Machu Picchu' Wade
Who is her character? Carmen is the daughter of a famous wrestler called Goliath Jackson.
Where do you know her from? Probably nowhere as this is her first major role. Previously she's worked behind the scenes as an assistant on various films and TV shows including Savages, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The Mentalist.
Be warned: If you're planning to google Britney Young to find out more, you're likely to stumble upon a porn actress of the same name. Don't say we didn't warn you.
7. Sunita Mani As Arthie 'Beirut The Mad Bomber' Premkumar
Who is her character? The only Indian-American on the wrestling team, Arthie is a poor medical student who is given the very un-PC persona of a Lebanese terrorist.
Where do you know her from? In real life, Sunita Mani is a stand-up comedian and actress. Above all, you'll recognize her face from the highly acclaimed tech drama Mr. Robot, in which she plays hacktivist Trenton.
8. Gayle Rankin As Sheila 'The She-Wolf'
Who is her character? A woman with species dysmorphia who self-identifies as a wolf.
Where do you know her from? Originally hailing from Scotland, Gayle Ranking moved to New York City when she was just 16 years old to study at prestigious performing arts school Juilliard. She's appeared in a number of Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions and is gearing up to appear alongside Oscar Isaac in Macbeth.
She also forms part of the star-studded cast of Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), which wowed audiences at #Cannes earlier this year.
9. Britt Baron As Justine 'Scab' Biagi
Who is her character? GLOW's youngest member, moody Britt is a huge fan of old B-movies and knows all of Sam's film catalogue, back to front.
Where do you know her from? This is her first major role, although she has voiced a few characters in video games (Halo: The Fall of Reach, Skylanders: Imaginators, Dishonored 2) and did once have a guest spot on Grey's Anatomy.
10. Kia Stevens As Tameé 'The Welfare Queen' Dawson
Who is her character? Having sent her son off to Stanford Medical School, Tameé is ironically branded as "The Welfare Queen," parading around the ring with food stamps in hand.
Where do you know her from? Well, if you're into real-life women's wrestling, you're likely to know Kia Stevens as Awesome Kong. Since her career in the ring began, she's been a part of TNA Wrestling (as Kong), the WWE (as Kharma) and is a five-time Women's Champion.
11. Jackie Tohn As Melanie 'Melrose' Rosen
Who is her character? A wild child who loves to piss people off and has trouble following orders.
Where do you know her from? An actress since she was a teenager, Jackie Tohn has starred in many projects over the years, with minor roles in popular TV series including Veronica Mars, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, CSI: NY and Rules of Engagement. You might also recognize her from movies like Sisters and CHIPS.
American Idol fans might also remember her from Season 8 of the show back in 2009, in which she made it to the top 36 before getting the boot. Despite this singing setback, she went on to release two albums — 2009's Beguiling and 2.Yo in 2010.
12. Kimmy Gatewood As Stacey 'Ethel Rosenblatt' Beswick
Who is her character? One half of "The Beatdown Biddies," GLOW's hilarious pair of hairdressing wrestlers.
Where do you know her from? Gatewood has been around for some time, featuring in minor roles in sitcoms such as Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Community, Bad Judge and Epic Rap Battles of History. Although GLOW is her most major role to date, Gatewood continues to work as a screenwriter on a slew of shows.
13. Rebekka Johnson As Dawn 'Edna Rosenblatt' Rivecca
Who is her character? The second half of "The Beatdown Biddies."
Where do you know her from? You might remember Johnson from the TV series Prankville, We Don't Hate It Here and Sketchy, as well as the Judd Apatow comedy This Is 40, in which she plays a gynecological nurse. Talking about what working on GLOW did for her personal growth, she recently told the Observer:
"Wrestling is so empowering – it made me feel like a superhero. I have anxiety. I could barely ride a bike. Then I had to act and learn to wrestle for this. I feel so much stronger."
14. Marianna Palka As Reggie 'Vicky The Viking' Walsh
Who is her character? A former athlete who is given a butch wrestling alter ego.
Where do you know her from? Marianna Palka has been making her rounds on the indie film scene for years, starring in relatively under-the-radar movies such as Good Dick and Bitch. In the latter role she embraced the identity of a rabid dog. Yes, really.
Who is your favorite Gorgeous Lady of Wrestling? Sound off in the comments below.