Kate Nash – 'It's got everything, power, strength, comedy, emotion, 80s hairdos, spandex, glitter and fighting'
- Henry Northmore
- 25 May 2017
Singer joins the cast of GLOW a brand new Netflix comedy set in the world of female wrestling, also starring Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin
New Netflix comedy GLOW is a glorious mash up of Flashdance, Rocky and WWE. Ruth (Mad Men's Alison Brie) is a down on her luck actor who, after flunking yet another audition, finds herself trying out for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A high concept female wrestling federation funded by an eccentric tinned fruit magnate.
It's a fictionalised version of the real life GLOW, a cheap and cheerful, slightly tacky, faux glamorous, all girl grappling league that aired on US TV during the 80s (you can still track down vintage clips on YouTube. It acknowledges the sexism and stereotypes of the era (some of the more dubious characters in the real GLOW were Jailbait and Jungle Woman) but concentrates on the friendship between this gang of misfits thrown together in bizarre circumstance. Fellow wrestlers include Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Ellen Wong and Kate Nash.
GLOW has strong ties with the team behind Orange is the New Black with Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann acting as executive producers. It also features a similarly strong female cast and crew. 'I just love these women so much,' explains Nash. 'I was so grateful to have the opportunity to work with all these talented women. And that was really down to [showrunners] Liz Flahive (Nurse Jackie, Homeland) and Carly Mensch (OITNB) who were so particular about the women they hired for the show. And Alison Brie, she's such an amazing lead and made sure we were all looked after and treated equally. We had a month of training so we had quite an intimate relationship with each other before we even started filming.'
It's an incredibly physical role, the cast all did their own stunts. Put through their paces by Chavo Guerrero, WWE, WCW and ECW champion and part of the legendary Guerrero wrestling dynasty. 'I never took wrestling seriously, this completely opened my mind,' adds Nash. 'They are incredibly skilled, they have such a unique skillset, it's amazing. I can't believe I underestimated it.'
One of the few male roles is taken by US comic and unlikely superstar Marc Maron (even Barack Obama has appeared on his WTF podcast) as the league's hang dog director attempting to make high art with low budget ingredients. 'Marc is Marc Maron,' laughs Nash. 'He's exactly what you'd expect him to be. He's a grumpy curmudgeon who seems unapproachable but actually he's a real softy and he really cared about us and the show.'
Nash always loved acting but first made her mark as a singer and musician. 'I wanted to go to drama school at 18 but I didn't get in so I went back to the music and focussed on that.' Recently starring in British feature Powder Room, alongside Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winstone, and an unaired US pilot about the Salem Witch Trails written by Kohan. '[The Devil You Know] was directed by Gus Van Sant and starred Eddie Izzard, Jenji really liked my work and asked me to audition for GLOW. '
However she's not leaving music behind, a recent Kickstarter raised funds for her fourth album (Nash is aiming for an early 2018 release) and she's on tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of debut LP Made of Bricks. 'I couldn't let it go unmarked. I think I'm going to perform these songs in a way I've never performed them before, create something really fresh and nostalgic for fans.'
Talking to Nash you can tell how proud she is to be part of GLOW; the love she has for her fellow cast and crew; it's message of female empowerment and pure entertainment values: 'You'd be crazy to not watch it. It's got everything, power, strength, comedy, emotion, 80s hairdos, spandex, glitter and fighting.'
GLOW is availed on Netflix from Fri 23 Jun; Kate Nash plays Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 1 Aug.