Kimmy Gatewood recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Bill Pritchard ahead of GLOW‘s third season premiere on Netflix. Gatewood plays Stacey Beswick, aka “Ethel Rosenblatt” of the Beatdown Biddies on the show, and she spoke about the attitude heading into the show’s latest batch of episodes. Gatewood says it’s a fun challenge to see what else you can do with the characters this far into a show’s life, and their wrestling skills are markedly better. She also noted that it’s great hearing the show is well-received as that was a goal or hope with the cast going into the first season.
“That’s really nice to hear cause I think like season one we were—it was really important to us, we work with Chavo Guerrero Jr.—we really have like a deep respect for the art form or the sport of wrestling. It’s really nice to hear that wrestling fans like the show too.”
On speaking on behalf of wrestling and the intricacies that go with the ‘one true sport’, Gatewood says she was familiar with wrestling going in, but she was quick to correct people that wrestling isn’t fake and hopes their show at least helps speak for the work that goes into being a professional wrestler.
“It’s been definitely really interesting for me as someone who’s kinda new to wrestling. I watched GLOW in the ’80s and I definitely watched Hulk Hogan. I was a part of all the watching and all the branding and it being kind of the mainstream culture and then when I first got cast in GLOW, they were like, ‘well wrestling’s fake right?’ And I had to correct every single person. ‘No! It’s not!’ I’m like, ‘Here’s this bruise, here’s this bruise, I injured this wrist and my knee looks like this now.’ I think that’s been the new kind of messaging, what people are most fascinated by at least like from the kind of questions that we get regularly and how we hopefully been able to speak to the massive amounts of work and energy and strength it takes to be a wrestler.”
Gatewood talked about getting the chance to play a few characters on the show so far, including the Beatdown Biddies as well as some one-offs in the Toxic Twins last season and a couple of Ku Klux Klan members in season one. She says they have been given a lot of room to improve with each character, and hopes they can continue to expand in that way in future seasons.
“Rebekka and I doing sketch comedy is how we became partners and friends, and in sketch comedy you’re constantly playing different characters and trying out new bits. When they gave us the Beatdown Biddies in season one, they said they were going to give us a transformation. The ‘Toxic Twins’ was always in the cards, but they liked the Beatdown Biddies so much and they were so funny—and I love being a Beatdown Biddie—Rebekka and I write a lot of jokes for the Beatdown Biddies, so they’ll just say ‘ok, you guys are going to enter… say something like this, but just do your thing.’ They let us improvise quite a bit as those characters in the ring.
For Ethel and Edna, when they gave us those characters they had two lines of dialogue and we went bananas and pitched a bunch of jokes and had a lot of input for the jokes our characters had. For Nuke and O-Zone, the Toxic Twins, we were pitching around the ‘Toxic Shockers’ or ‘Toxic Shock Syndrome’ [laughs], but they ended up sticking with the Toxic Twins. They really let us play within the world that they create, and I do hope that as the seasons continue, they allow us to take on new personas, which I know mirrors very closely with professional wrestling. Chavo and Kia—who plays ‘Welfare Queen’—told us about all of the different personas that she’s played.”
Gatewood noted that Chavo told them about his own experience with the negative side of those stereotypical gimmicks with Kerwin White in WWE, saying it showed them wrestling in the past could be very stereotypical as well as scary. Gatewood also talked a bit about the new role reversals the Biddies dealt with in season three, saying she knew ahead of time the new character she would play, and that was fun because [her character] Stacey got a chance to branch out and worried about looking cute instead of dressing up like an old lady as Ethel. Kimmy noted that one challenge she faced as an actress was that you have to lean in so hard to that new character, but almost acts as a release because she got to see things from her co-stars’ characters perspectives and you get to switch things up as actors and the characters themselves.
Check out the full interview below: