BRITT BARON’S HOLLYWOOD GLOW UP
Photos / Michelle Gonzales
Styling / Janet Gomez
Makeup / Amanda Bourne
Hair/ Tania Becker
Britt Baron grew up in a town where she couldn’t walk into the grocery store without running into at least one person she knew.
“On the fourth of July, the entire town watches fireworks on the beach together, it’s very sweet. We also have the only McDonalds I’ve ever seen that doesn’t have a drive-thru, not sure what that says about our town but I always found it so strange,” The actress says with her now notorious chuckle.
Baron knew she wanted to act since she was a child. She was constantly performing for anyone that would listen from a very young age, pretending to be other people and orchestrating plays with her brother, cousins, neighbors, whoever would put up with her. Her dream as a child was to be on the Disney Channel but her mom didn’t want her daughter to be a child actress, so she had to hold off until luck would have it, a great theater program her middle school and high school opened up.
These experiences propelled her dreams of performing to new heights and she was able to hone into her craft in a more professional way. “That’s where I decided to really pursue it as a career.”
Pursue might seem like an understatement, Britt more like relayed raced into her career appearing working on the prestigious stage of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago., doing voice-over work and then landing parts on shows like Grey’s Anatomy before she booked a starring role on one most talked about shows on TV.
Baron plays Justine on Glow, the youngest wrestler in famed 80’s women’s wrestling league that took Netflix by storm. We talk to the actress about her steps to a hit series, reclaiming Hollywood and her favorite things.
You’ve done a lot of theatre and studies at prestigious institutions like Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and Burbank’s Falcon Theatre, Is there a “fancy” acting method vs. “Hollywood” acting method you can let us in on?
I studied different formal acting methods when I was in school getting my BFA, but I think one of the greatest lessons I learned working professionally is that everyone really has their own way of preparing and performing in theater and in film and that there isn’t just one right acting method. I was in a play with the late Steppenwolf ensemble member Mariann Mayberry and she would be joking around with everyone backstage and then walk on stage and deliver one of the most grounded gut-wrenching performances I’ve ever witnessed. She taught me that acting and performing doesn’t always have to be this super serious thing, it can be fun and goofy as long as you do the work during the rehearsal process and are prepared. I think that formal training can be really beneficial but I do think there are skills that you just can’t learn in a classroom. I’ve worked on letting go of some of my training and just freeing myself to be in the moment. I think at its core, acting is very simple, and we can lose sight of that. It is about listening, reacting truthfully, believing the circumstances, and being in the moment. The best teachers and classes I’ve had have been from the professional work opportunities I’ve been given.
When did you realize that Glow was cemented into the fandom world?
Last Halloween people dressed up in these amazing, mostly self-made GLOW costumes and were tagging us in photos. That was probably the first time I realized the real reach of the show. It was pretty amazing to see the show resonate enough with people for them to dress up as us for Halloween!
Top, Teatum Jones.
Top,Stylist own. Suit, BCBG. Shoes, The Palatines Jewelry. Paige Cheyne.
How has the show changed your life the most?
The friendships I’ve made with the girls in the cast is the most special life-changing thing about GLOW. Getting to know these women and go through this with them from the beginning has been the greatest part of this show and experience for me. That may sound corny, but it’s true. We are all so uniquely different and that offers so many perspectives – we challenge and encourage one another in so many amazing ways. I look up to all of these women and have learned so much about the industry and the world thanks to them. Also, I think there is something particularly special about having to trust one another to flip you over their back and not break your neck, wrestling definitely brought us closer literally and figuratively.
Who is your favorite of the original Gorgeous Girls Of Wrestling?
I’ve gotten to meet and work with Angelina Altishin aka ‘Little Egypt’ who is so kind and incredibly supportive so that has been a joy. She has really taken us under her wing and I’ve loved hearing stories of what their experience was like. But all of the original girls are so amazing, I love how unique all of the wrestling characters were. I think that’s what made the show so special.
What was it like working on the Grey’s Anatomy set?
So surreal. I was a huge Grey’s fan growing up. I remember as a kid in the summer I would watch reruns on TV every morning, I just fell in love with the show and became so invested in the characters. It’s so silly because it’s almost a right of passage for Los Angeles actors to guest star on the show, but being on set for me felt like such an accomplishment. To go from this freshman in high school in Connecticut who watched the show every day of the summer, to being on set felt like such a rewarding journey. I felt like I was making my younger self proud. Everyone in the cast was so nice and welcoming and the crew was one of my all-time favorites. It was a personal milestone.
Do you get recognized in awkward places? Any stories about fame?
Sometimes I get recognized in very random places, which is pretty hilarious. But honestly I’m rarely recognized, my day to day life has not changed at all. I still walk my dog in my pajamas and assume/hope no one recognizes me.
Do you have anxiety about being an actress and a personality for social media? Do you feel like most working actors have anxiety about this, like appearing “cool”?
Are you kidding, oh my god yes. It’s awful. Once my Instagram stopped being for just my friends and family I suddenly felt self-conscious and was second guessing everything I wanted to post. When social media is public it can be hard to still stay true to yourself and not feel some sort of pressure to pretend to be something you are not. I think that was one of the weird transition things for me when GLOW first came out. Now I feel more comfortable and confident in just posting what I want to regardless of if people will like it. That has been liberating because you aren’t going to please everyone, so in terms of social media, I think just posting photos that you like and staying true to yourself and sense of humor and interests is the only way to keep myself sane. But social media is a platform for people to compare themselves to one another. It can make me feel really awful about myself, about my appearance and about my life, it often makes me feel like I don’t measure up. It’s all so curated and phony, so I’ve been deleting the apps from my phone. I was WASTING my life away. I would constantly be mindlessly scrolling. It’s so addicting. I wouldn’t even realize I was doing it. Everything with moderation. Deleting social media from my phone was definitely a great move for my mental health.
Can you tell us a time where you picked yourself out of a slump? How did you do it?
Surrounding myself with friends is always helpful for me when I’m feeling down, it’s easy to spiral if you’re alone, so being social and getting out of the house is great. Also, volunteering has been so helpful for my mental health. I volunteer at the dog rescue where I adopted my dog. Being with dogs who have come from the city shelters or were strays or abused but at the same time are so loving and so happy to see you is so inspiring. Dogs are so resilient and being around them really puts my own problems into perspective. I never ever leave the rescue not feeling 100% better than I did walking in. Some people do yoga to feel better, I walk dogs.
Who are your best friends?
I lived with 10 minutes of my best friends in college and to this day they are still my best friends. We live all over the country now and work in completely different fields but I think that’s what makes our friendship special. They also have so much blackmail on me, so I’m forced to remain friends with them for the sake of my future!
What areas right now do you think need “reclaiming” in the world in general?
Women’s rights. I think the “Me Too” movement is so inspiring and needed right now. Women are fighting for change, it’s exciting to feel this societal shift where women are demanding equal pay and equal opportunities in the workplace and in society. I’m so overwhelmingly inspired and empowered by those who have publicly spoken out and are fighting for a better tomorrow and a better future for the young women in this country. Enough is enough – we want an equal opportunity to sit at the table. This movement for me is not about special treatment, it is about EQUAL treatment and opportunities. Women are not delicate flowers, they are strong, smart, empathetic, and creative and I am beyond fortunate to work on a show created by and for women of all different ages, sizes, ethnicities, and personalities.
What do you love most about your life right now?
My dog Remy. I adopted a seven-year-old pocket Pit Bull type dog in June and it truly was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. There are just so many amazing dogs in the shelters that get put down simply because there isn’t enough space and resources. She has just changed my whole life for the better. She makes me so happy, I would bring her everywhere with me if I could. I’m so incredibly lucky to have her, I could go on and on, but don’t want me to put into an institution for being too obsessed with my dog.
Do you watch WWE?
Yes, I have such a new found respect for professional wrestling. It’s a really unbelievable sport and merges with theater in such a beautiful way. I’ve even gotten to attend some live shows with the cast and it’s unbelievable. The audience energy is electric, they are so invested and watching the wrestlers feed off the crowd in person is so special.”
Who are your favorite athletes?
Top, COS. Pants, Teatum Jones. Shoes, The Palatines. Jewelry, COS.
Dress, Marei 1998. Shoes, Gucci. Cuff, COS. Ring, Paige Cheyne.
Kimono, Top, Marei 1998.
Dress, Teatum Jones. Boots, The Palatines.