Who is Britt? How would you describe yourself in a nutshell?
A goofy, unorganized, passionate, kind, impatient, friendly, procrastinating, quirky human who is really just thinking about when I can next get to Disneyland.
Where are you originally from? Tell us about your hometown.
I'm from a small New England town in Connecticut. It's on the coast about an hour outside of New York City. It's a very suburban town. There is one high school and everyone knows everyone. It has a rich history in the arts, Paul Newman actually lived there. There is a beach which is really the staple of our town, every fourth of July the everyone comes out to picnic and watch fireworks. It was a great place to grow up. I just love New England.
Tell us the story on how acting got started for you?
I kind of just fell into it. I always loved playing pretend, I had a big imagination, and I loved performing. Growing up I would convince all my neighbors to put on skits for our parents, I was just always looking for an outlet to perform. I started dancing at age three and continued competitively through elementary school. My parents also signed me up for community theater and a handful of recreational sports growing up. But I remember always dreading going to dance class or soccer practice and always really looking forward to going to play practice. That was kind of my first sign that theater was what I truly loved.
What was it like preparing for the role of “Justine” in “GLOW”?
I really did not have much time to prepare or even really process what was happening, I got the call that I was cast on a Saturday night and I began wrestling training two days later. It was a whirlwind, I felt like I jumped onto a speeding train, it was very exhilarating! But for Justine specifically, I wanted to learn as much about the punk rock scene as I could because it is a very important identifying factor for Justine and I really didn't know much about it. So I listened to punk rock 80's music, watched documentaries about the punk rock scene in Los Angeles, read books about famous bands and their journeys, visited a Ramones exhibit at the Grammy Museum, and went down youtube Joan Jett rabbit holes late into the night.
What were your teenage years like? What are some similarities and differences you have with your character in the show?
I went through my own "punk" phase as a teenager. I bought my first pair of converse, painted my nails black, and listened to bands like The Spill Canvas, Paramore, and Dashboard Confessional. Justine's insecurities revolving around her crush on the pizza boy were very similar to the teenage me. I would spend HOURS talking with my girlfriends about the boys we liked, and going around and around in circles about how we could get their attention. In middle school I had a crush on a boy who wore Abercrombie every single day so I decided to wear Abercrombie everyday, just to try and get his attention...it didn't work but it did remind me of Justine ordering so many pizzas as an excuse to see the pizza boy. I think I was way more goofy, social, and friendly as a teenager than Justine is but I was definitely just as unsure about what I was doing or who I really was, I was just winging it, but aren't we all?
What was it like being the youngest actor on set?
I was nervous going in, because I knew I was the youngest and this was also my first big television part so I felt like a rookie in a way. But the girls on this cast are really something special. They are so kind and welcoming, there were no egos. No one treated me differently or made me feel like I wasn't apart of the group. The beautiful thing about GLOW is that we are all a team. And we genuinely all get along, I honestly didn't think about being the youngest much because no one treated me that way.
It’s great to see shows where the cast is female-dominant. What was your experience working alongside mostly women?
It was amazing. It's so collaborative and supportive and surprisingly non-competitive. We are all so different and yet astonishingly similar in so many ways. It was just the greatest place to work. We were working hard but having an amazing time while doing it. I love those women so much. They are kind, intelligent, strong, driven, hilarious, understanding, and unconditionally supportive. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to work with so many amazing women.
While filming the first season of “GLOW”, was there a scene that stuck with you?
I mean obviously the scene where I reveal my true identity to Sam was a big scene that I was anticipating the entire season. But the scenes with Arthie in their hotel room hold a special place in my heart. Getting to see Justine embarrassed about they way she acted in front of the pizza boy, regretting what she said, and lamenting on whether or not to call him was so revealing and relatable to me. I have had those same conversations with my girlfriends over the years, "should I text him?" "I can't believe I said that" etc. And because Justine so often has this guard up it is such a treat to see her just being a kid struggling with the same insecurities that we all struggle with.
What are some of the struggles of being a woman in the entertainment industry? Do you feel like the show accurately portrayed some of them?
The opening scene in the pilot when Ruth is auditioning for the role of the secretary but reads the part of the man instead really struck a chord with me. She laments about wanting "real" parts not the role of secretaries telling important men their wife is on line two. I think there is a real struggle still in this industry as a woman for those "real" parts. So many parts for women still function as nothing more than the love interest of the lead man, or this helpless soft spoken girl waiting to be saved by a man. There is also such a sexualization of women in this industry and you see it in GLOW with some of the degrading remarks Sam makes to them. However, GLOW is so empowering and I think has resonated with so many people because you finally see women take matters into their own hands and create this wrestling show where they are strong, confidant, loud, primal, and embracing who they are, no one is pretty crying on camera or speaking in a soft demur voice. GLOW is so empowering and I hope to see more shows like this for women in the future.
Where would you like to see Justine's story go in season 2?
I would love to see how her relationship develops and grows with Sam. I'm curious to see if perhaps she'll begin working more on the film side with him. Regardless, I would love to see Justine wrestle and really get to come into her own. She spent so much of season one sulking or scared, it would be great to see her shed her insecurities and embrace her power in the wrestling ring!
Is there a particular actor you’re inspired by?
So many! Rooney Mara, Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, Katharine Hepburn, Emma Stone....I mean the list could go on for days.
What is your proudest moment in your career so far?
What experience has most shaped you?
I don't know if a particular experience has defined me. If anything I think my family has shaped me the most. I come from a very close, supportive, hilarious, and unconditionally loving family. My family is the reason I am who I am, without them I would be nothing.
Any upcoming projects that will get your fans excited?
Nothing that I can publicly talk about yet, but hopefully I'll be able to spill the beans soon!
Abigail in The Crucible
What are you reading?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
What keeps you busy aside from acting?
Spending time with family and friends, hiking, going to see movies or theater, reading, and sending my college friends stupid memes in our group chat.
Currently binge watching?
Handmaid's Tale, so good!
Any advice you can give to aspiring actors out there?
Try and just stay true to yourself and study and practice as much as you possibly can. Go take acting classes, audition as much as you can, see theater, watch as much TV and film as you can, just soak up as much information possible. I also think in this industry and in Los Angeles specifically there is so much pressure to look a certain way or to have a very clear 'type' and I have always found the most success when I'm just embracing who I really am and trusting my instincts and training. Everyone has a different opinion about your look, how to perform a scene, what agent to sign with, where to live, what to eat, how short to cut your hair, what shoes to wear, I mean whatever it is, the list goes on and the best advice I have gotten is to just trust my instincts, sometimes you need to drown out the noise and just trust your gut because at the end of the day you will never please everyone, you just gotta do you.
If you had the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
I work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I am currently fundraising for an awareness walk in October. I lost my cousin to Suicide this year, and it just completely changed my entire understanding surrounding mental health and suicide and opened my eyes to how prevalent this is in our country and how underrepresented it is. I would love to help bring more attention and funding to study mental health and help prevent suicide. I just don't think we as a society talk about depression and mental health in a way that is deserving of how serious and common it is. I hope to help break the stigma surrounding mental health by opening up a dialogue.
Photographer VICTORIA INNOCENZI
Styling MONICA CARGILE
Makeup GEORGINA MENDIOLA
Hair CHERRY PETENBRINK