Awesome Kong (Kia Stevens) recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Bill Pritchard ahead of the GLOW season three premiere on Netflix this Friday. Stevens is back as Tammé Dawson, aka “Welfare Queen” and she’s also making her presence felt in All Elite Wrestling as Brandi Rhodes’ ‘insurance policy.’
Stevens says she’s always been involved in acting, citing her mother’s influence on her career. She said she had a bit of a fast track to wrestling stardom, but cited her background as a big reason as to why she was able to find success in the ring.
“Acting is something I always actually did. I grew up an actress. My mom was an actress and she put my brother and I into acting at a young age. And so yes, I’ve always been a thespian. In fact, the reason why I slid into wrestling—why I picked it up so quickly—was because of my acting background. I had what you would call an accelerated career, taking my first bump in the School of Hard Knocks in San Bernardino, California and then finding myself eight weeks later main eventing in Japan. So it wasn’t like I knew how to wrestle but I knew how to act like I could wrestle. So yeah, acting has always been a part of my life and a very important reason of my success in wrestling.”
Stevens’ character, Tammé, has seen an increase in screen time with each season, which includes more discussion about the wear and tear on a wrestler’s body and the daily life of a wrestler. Stevens says she’s overall happy with her character’s arc, noting that she’s being recognized for her skills as a dual threat instead of being relegated to being a background character.
“I’m just feel blessed that they knew that I explored serious acting than even with wrestling. They treated me and Tammé as such in roles like that. It wasn’t as if they’ve been trying to hide me behind people or characters in the show just like a one-off quip, if you know what I mean.”
Stevens added, saying that while she is experienced herself, she does still feel pressure being around more veteran actresses on set. She says Betty Gilpin, who plays Liberty Belle / Debbie Egan on the show, is one the best people she’s worked with and says she was taken back by her skill early on in production of the show’s first season.
“Oh my gosh do I yes! Betty Gilpin one of the greatest actresses I’ve ever witnessed and there are times where I’m in a scene with her that I actually get lost just watching her perform. And I’ll just be there with my mouth open. It’s like my turn to speak, and ‘I’m sorry I just get caught up in what she just did there. That was brilliant. Can we do it over again? That was brilliant just watching her work.’
The first season when she busted in on Allie [Alison Brie’s character, Ruth] and the baby and you know ‘You homewrecker!’ Watching her do that, because she did that a good dozen times, watching her get into that space and come barging in. I was like ‘Oh my god.’ One, she is going to sleep like the dead tonight. And two, she just got there every single time. It was like witnessing a feat. Like witnessing one of those people who would do a dance contest for seven days straight.”