Betty Gilpin: Men Get to Play “Farting Geniuses” While Women Play “Sobbing Boobs or Sobbing Laundry Basket”

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The push for Betty Gilpin to win the Emmy for Comedy Supporting Actress for her role as Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan is real: in the last season, we’ve seen Gilpin play a wholly unlikeable, even cruel, character that also manages to be devastatingly sympathetic while also managing some amazing stunts. Her acting as the wrester/former soap opera star is at once campy and delightful, as well as upsetting and infuriating (in the best way).

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Gilpin appears to talk about her Emmy nomination, a concussion she had at the SAG Awards, and having theatre actors as parents. Gilpin charismatically chats about her name Betty (“It’s me and a bunch of ladies who are about to die at any moment … I’m a crabby old woman inside”), her Emmy expectations (“I feel like I have a healthy sense of insecurity with a little healthy sprinkle of self-loathing. You set the bar healthily low”), and her idea of banter (“What if we talk about our worst childhood traumas?”).

She also spoke about one of GLOW‘s most important characteristics, which are its exploration of representation and opportunities available to women in the industry—a theme introduced in the show’s first episode which featured Alison Brie’s character defiantly reading for male role before giving into the actual audition: one line from the female secretary. Gilpin’s role on GLOW or American Gods have been her more notable roles, though she’s done plenty of jobs in the past over 13 years of acting.

Because of that experience, she says she’s maintained a “healthy sense of realism” that while things are changing, “it’s still like men get to be three-dimensional, sexy forever farting geniuses.” The actress points out a lot of her roles were not of the three-dimensional, farting genius type. “I played a lot of either, like, you know, sobbing boobs or sobbing laundry basket”, says Gilpin. “There was a lot of like, ‘You’re back, hey’, or, you know, ‘You were so brave.'” (Gilpin definitely sobs a lot on GLOW, but it’s always for compelling and relatable reasons!)

The actor also wrote about her love of GLOW in contrast to other roles available for women in her amazing piece titled “What It’s Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs“, where she talks about becoming “an actor who auditioned to play women who say things like, ‘Does this look like mauve to you?!'”

In the words of Liberty Belle, “I’d like to call on the power of my three favorite Americans: Ronald Reagan, Larry Bird, and Jesus Christ himself” for Betty Gilpin’s Emmy.

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