Alison Brie Breaks Down Her Career from Community to GLOW to Happiest Season

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Brie also ranks the ‘Scream’ movies and discusses the shocking ‘GLOW’ cancellation.

I’m truly utterly delighted by every single episode of Collider Ladies Night that I’m lucky enough to do, but Alison Brie has to get some sort of bonus points for the downright adorable cat cameos and ranking the Scream movies with me. And to think, that only covered a small fraction of our chat!

Brie’s accomplished quite a bit since making her TV debut in Hannah Montana back in 2006, enjoying many seasons with Community and Mad Men, scoring two Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her work on Netflix’s GLOW, and appearing in a slew of stellar films, personal favorites being Scream 4, The Kings of Summer and now Hulu’s Happiest Season, just to name a few. She truly never slowed down since the moment she started and that was by design. Here’s how Brie described her plan of attack in the earlier years of her career:

“We were shooting Mad Men and Community simultaneously and I still always felt a real need to book my hiatuses full of movies. I feel like with my old manager we had a two movie rule. And the hiatuses were not very long. For Community, it would be like, ‘If we could fit in two movies, it doesn’t matter what they are!” What would happen every time inevitably is, I would try to be picky and hold off on stuff and sort of pass on auditioning for certain things and try to be choosy, and then I’d feel the clock ticking and then whatever the next thing was that I read, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I’ll go in for that!’ It wasn’t a total free-for-all and it’s not to say that I’m not proud of a lot of the work that I was doing during that time. I think I just had a different priority. I just wanted to build a career, get as much experience as possible. And, like you’re saying, because I love working so much, I think [I] always was able to be like, ‘I mean, the script isn’t great, but those actors are so funny so that would be good. I think I could bring something to that character [that] would be fun,’ any little nugget that I think I could find.”

Image via Netflix

When did that mentality change a bit? Brie gives that credit to GLOW:

“And then there was a distinct turning point I think because GLOW to me was such a great show and I was really coming into my own as an actress and I felt like GLOW on its own set the bar really high. And then I got to do some movies like The Disaster Artist and The Little Hours, which I’m really proud of both of those. It was probably one season into GLOW, where I was like, ‘Okay, let me slow down a little bit. I don’t want to have things that I’m not proud of anymore on my resume.’ And again, there’s nothing I’m ashamed of, but at a certain point you’re like, ‘Okay, I’ve done a lot of this type of movie,’ and, ‘Let me try to do something a little bit different and try to grow as an actor and just change it up a little.’”

As we always stress on Collider Ladies Night, everyone’s path is different, but in Brie’s case, she seems to have chosen the best one for herself. While there’s certainly loads to love from the earlier portion of her career, it’s been quite exciting watching her embrace all of the experience she already had and apply it to new opportunities like writing, directing, producing and headlining a show. If the last few years are any indication, I have absolutely no doubt that Brie will continue doing that, and that kind of creative growth could signal boundless potential.

If you’d like to hear more about her journey from theater school to Happiest Season, you can check out our full Ladies Night chat at the top of this article! Also, be sure to check out Happiest Season, which is a huge charmer and now available to stream on Hulu.

Image via Hulu

Alison Brie:

  • 00:30 – Brie meets Deputy Dewey and reveals her rankings of the Scream films.
  • 02:00 – The actors who made a huge impression on Brie growing up.
  • 03:50 – Initially, Brie never thought she’d wind up doing television.
  • 06:09 – How and why that changed once she graduation from CalArts.
  • 07:35 – Why Hannah Montana was the perfect gig to get right after theater school; Brie walks us through the audition process.
  • 10:07 – Brie credits GLOW as being a major turning point in her career; while she was shooting Mad Men and Community, she was packing her hiatuses with movies.
  • 13:22 – What was it like balancing such a hectic schedule working on Mad Men and Community simultaneously?
  • 15:43 – Brie breaks down how she goes about learning her lines.
  • 18:10 – Brie highlights what makes Dan Harmon of Community, Matt Weiner of Mad Men, and Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch of GLOW unique showrunners.
  • 23:25 – Brie discusses the open letter of representation submitted by her GLOW co-stars.
  • 26:48 – Why Brie is confident she’ll be able to move on from Ruth Wilder, even though she didn’t get closure with the character.
  • 30:28 – On embracing the holiday comedy formula in Happiest Season; why Brie was especially excited to work with director Clea DuVall.
  • 33:15 – Why having a positive experience on set is increasingly important to Brie.
  • 35:41 – Brie learned how to ice-skate for Happiest Season.
  • 37:33 – The sibling rivalry gets pretty intense between Sloane and Harper (Mackenzie Davis); the importance of having empathy for Sloane.

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