Calm Extrovert or Manic Introvert? (with Betty Gilpin)

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When actor Betty Gilpin was simultaneously filming “Masters of Sex” and doing wrestling training to prepare for “Glow” (oh, and planning her wedding), she went into full upper body muscle spasms. Her nervous system was having a panic attack. Sam asks Betty how that moment taught her to slow down and changed the way she approached her life and career. They also discuss horse feuds, fake authenticity, and why we need to stop calling women badass.

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Samantha Bee, Betty Gilpin

Samantha Bee  02:20

This is Choice Words. I’m Samantha Bee. And this week, I talked to the incredible actor and author Betty Gilpin. I am a huge fan of hers from Glow and Mrs. Davis and I love the candor of her book. All the women in my brain. It’s excellent. We talked about what it’s like to become a mom how that changes everything in your life and career and I will now first apologize for insisting that people need to be able to make that decision for themselves. So take a listen and make good choices. Okay, all I heard because I couldn’t hear you guys talking. All I heard was anti acne face light. And I was like, I’m already having a great time.

Betty Gilpin  05:27

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I was not genetically engineered for HD, to pay my mortgage from having my poor is seen on HD. Like, I’m concerned that my daughter’s tuition relies on me not having medieval skin because I have.

Samantha Bee  05:46

No, HD is the enemy of the people isn’t good for any human being.

Betty Gilpin  05:51

It’s anti feminist and rude.

Samantha Bee  05:52

It’s so rude. Oh my god. Can I tell you something? I? Yeah, I have to say it. And it’s probably going to make you feel sick inside. But I have wanted to talk to you for the longest time. Like, I just think you’re great. I’m so excited to be sitting here. Oh, she asked. Oh, my God, we have so much to talk about. We have to talk about Mrs. Davis. We have to talk about all of this. And I want to say that I first came to know your work from glow, which I loved. Rip glow. I really loved it.

Betty Gilpin  06:29

Thanks. It was the best best job ever. It was really? Yeah. I know.

Samantha Bee  06:36

And then I read your book, which I we’re gonna talk a lot about your book. Is that okay with you?

Betty Gilpin  06:40

Yeah, totally. Thanks for reading it. That’s so nice.

Samantha Bee  06:44

Not only did I read it, I also listened to it. So read it, read it ages ago. And then I re read it by listening to it. And actually, the audiobook experience is totally different. Your voice is very beautiful. And you do an act out.

Betty Gilpin  06:59

Is it not how you imagined? The person who wrote it to be it.

Samantha Bee  07:05

It had exactly how I imagined but somehow it comes to life. It just comes to life in a different way. It’s less, you know, you’re less imagining the voice and just hearing how it is exactly supposed to. It was like, see? Yep. Awesome. I enjoyed your impressions of your parents.

Betty Gilpin  07:22

Oh, good. Great, very much. Thank you. Thanks. I will say my parents are like the only impressions I can do for sure.

Samantha Bee  07:32

Okay, well, it’s very good. So your book, all the women in my brain. So you have all of these different women in your brain who really represent all the different facets of your personality? Right? Which brain woman shows up to do press and podcasts and stuff like that? Because you’re in the thick of it?

Betty Gilpin  07:52

Well, you know, it’s a weird thing. This moment in time and the zeitgeist we’re at that I just feel i i feel like vulnerability and authenticity have been sort of branded in a way that freaks me out. Like, I just am always trying to check myself of are you being authentic in this moment? Or are you like, performing vulnerability and authenticity in a way that actually makes you incapable of both? Do you know what I mean? Like, I feel like sometimes I’m listening to someone who thinks they’re being so real. And then I’m like, are but how are you when when the cameras stopped rolling? Is this you? Right? And it’s so weird. I don’t know. I always leave these press weeks feeling a little like, oh, cut lip gloss on my inner self and was like, tap, tap for our mortgage baby.

Samantha Bee  08:50

Like it’s like a version of your authentic No, but it’s definitely like your nicest self. You’re like, I can roll with this. Like, I’m so breezy.

Betty Gilpin  09:01

Yeah, yeah, I’m just a calm extrovert. When really I’m a manic introvert.

Samantha Bee  09:05

Yeah, like I’d rather be planting a tulip bulbs, like, in every possible way.

Betty Gilpin  09:12

I know. I know. It’s really weird. And also a really strange part of this job. To me. It’s like, oh, this is actually I have to be honest with the fact that what feels different about you know, when I did off Broadway theater for the first 10 years out of school, is now in film and TV and the way our culture is, it almost seems like this is me trying to get other jobs basically, like a sort of personality performance for, you know, or whoever I’m doing a junket interview with and also, like, tricking the world into thinking I’m like, 30% prettier than I am. And I don’t mean that To like, it’s it’s so strange the participation of like, the smoke and mirrors, like, professionals come into the hotel room and paint me into a different person. They’re extremely talented. But then and then I’m also like, styled. It’s, it feels also like a representation of this exact moment in time where we’re pretending like we’re selling the merch of the victory party that everything’s fixed before, it’s actually fixed in terms of like, gender equality and women beat you know, it’s like, we’re, we’re slowly trying to reclaim things as our own for our own empowerment that we’re definitely, you know, built to be sold for goats. Like it’s the, you know, the, from fake lashes to heels to like, it does make me feel better when my zits are covered. And I’m, I’ve shaved my legs, but like, I guess originally that was for, you know, to try to be wife number four. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer, Sam.

Samantha Bee  11:02

We definitely like unfurled a big mission accomplished banner. Too early. Yeah. I think yeah, anytime. Yes. unfurl that banner, it’s probably too soon.

Betty Gilpin  11:13

And then a press tour. It really encapsulates, like I’m wearing I’ll wear a tight bandage, dress and play like Never Have I Ever and then in the next breath be like, no more than ever. Am I moving things forward? Or backward? Feminism wise?

Samantha Bee  11:28

I don’t know. But you know what, you can’t even think about it just go forward. You just go forward? Because you’re like, Well, yeah, so totally is watch this fucking awesome show that I just made.

Betty Gilpin  11:37

Totally. Whatever gets eyes on Peacock, baby.

Samantha Bee  11:40

You know, part of the stuff that I want to talk about on this podcast is like the big choices that you made in your life, that changed the whole trajectory. And I can think of one like big swing from your book that you talk about. That was like a real, pivotal moment for you. When you just kind of said, No, and took the reins of your career. On a path that even I think you probably wouldn’t have expected. Did you know what I’m talking about when I say these words?

Betty Gilpin  12:10

Yeah, I mean, for like a decade, I really just did like up play a year that no one saw for two pennies and a cough drop. And then like an episode of Law and Order every so often, to qualify for health insurance. I was trying really hard to get any other film and TV job and it was just kind of quiet for a long time. It was also kind of like, the trope of pixie dream girl was King and my tits were too big my hair was to brown, I had like visible trauma in my face, they were like, you can never be the pixie dream, or you can be her traumatized art. So I didn’t really work in my 20s a lot on film and TV. And then all of a sudden, things started really picking up. And I got these two jobs at once I was filming Masters of Sex in Los Angeles. And I then got glow and was doing wrestling training during masters. And so I would, you know, I was throwing Alison Brie across the room and then like getting in traffic and driving to film Masters of Sex and you know, getting up at like three in the morning and working a 16 hour day and doing this crazy physical training. And then every weekend flying back to the east coast to plan my wedding, which was in like, three weeks or something. Anyway, it was I had gone from like a very quiet introvert waiting for the phone to ring on my couch existence to like a jam packed campaign trail itinerary. And it was just not a personality match for me. And I think that I was at a point where I was like, Oh, I I’ve found a way to sort of market my demons or like use my beta newness to be an actor like my depression and my like, oh, nevermind qualities are the things that that make me good in a scene sometimes. And I’m just never going to be organized or courageous. But that’s for people who are like that and have busy itineraries, and all of a sudden I was that and like needed to outsource a part of my personality I didn’t have basically what happened was, I went into, like getting physical therapy and all this electric stim to try and prevent injury from wrestling training and as a stress response. On this woman’s therapy table. I went into full upper body muscle spasms, all of a sudden like like it looked like it was, like in the like during the thriller choreography or on a galloping horse. And it lasted for six days, I filmed a scene in Masters of Sex. While that was happening, we had to pin my arm between my legs. And then it would like, pop out like a claw like this and raise. It was insane. And no doctor knew what it was. And I went to some, you know, cranial sacral, Hootie, hottie peasant top wearing woman in a dirty apartment, who was like, your nervous system is having a panic attack. And basically, I think it was my body’s way of saying, stop, take a breath, you need to change the way that you approach your life. And it was kind of a, I don’t know, it was an eye opening moment for me of sort of, like, it’s time to grow up and take better care of yourself. Mm hmm. I think that I had just associated qualities in a woman that I maybe it’s internalized misogyny, I don’t know. It’s like, you know, taking care of yourself and being brave and having conversations in which you can set yourself up to do the work you need to do calmly and healthily. That’s not being vain or loud, or betraying your identity that’s just being an adult woman. And it completely changed my life. And the way that I am today, and all my problems are fixed. And I don’t have any issues.

Samantha Bee  16:36

No, no more issues by Can I see later? No, do you? It’s hard. Isn’t it hard? It’s very hard in this business that we’ve both chosen or been chosen by whatever it is. It’s hard to say no.

Betty Gilpin  16:50

Yes, completely. And when you know what, 10 years of no, is like, once the yeses come, it’s so hard not to choose which yet or you know, not that I’m in a flood of yeses. Right now, I’m still making self tapes on my bathroom floor. But I it’s hard not to get out of a scarcity mentality, for sure. But yeah, I think that it also helped me realize, you know, the Career Achievement, or the next brass ring is not going to fix it all. Like, I think, you know, we’re told, like, oh, just around the corner, and then you can take a break just around the corner, and then you can take a break. And then all of a sudden, you realize you’ve been sprinting for a decade, and the people who love you, you know, you haven’t made eye contact with them in six months? Because you’re like, I don’t know, because I’m this right now. You know, I don’t want to be that person.

Samantha Bee  17:41

You had a baby just a few years ago, right? She’s two and a half. Yep. Two and a half. Did you find that that experience has helped? I have three kids, I found that the moment that my daughter was born, my focus became so much better. I was like, now I don’t have Yes, my inner voice is not talking to me anymore. There’s like so much shit to do.

Betty Gilpin  18:05

There’s just less time in the day, when we were shooting Mrs. Davis, I live live in Brooklyn. But we shot in LA. And so me and my husband and daughter stayed in Venice, and I’d have a drive to Burbank every day. And to me that 40 minutes was like, the ultimate office time and my lines would just suck into my skull, I’d be like, here are my 10 ideas for today. Whereas before a kid I would spend two hours the night before panicking about am I going to be good in this scene, you know, all the time in the world for neuroses. And now there’s just no time.

Samantha Bee  18:46

I feel like I wasted so much time worrying about what people thought of me. I know. And it was very helpful to have someone outside of me that I would kill for.

Betty Gilpin  18:59

Yeah, truly cared for. Yeah, the priorities just reset immediately. It’s, it’s been Yeah, incredible. And I think I always thought I would secretly hate it. I think I thought I would be in the bathroom crying about like, what have I done with my life? And particularly having a daughter I was like, Oh, God, I’m I don’t know girls can see right through you and I I have loved it. I’ve loved it. I mean, I’m never going to be like the amazing mom that has all the perfect snacks and itinerary. Like I show up to the playground. I’m like, neither of us are wearing shoes. And this is New York and we both have tetanus. But I do. Cut I just love I love being a mom. It’s crazy. It’s crazy.

Samantha Bee  19:46

I don’t think that even I don’t even think that kids want the perfect mom who shows up with all the right snacks. They just want someone who loves them fully for who they are. They don’t give a shit. They’re like we can go to the store. Yes, right. There’s one right there. Totally fine.

Betty Gilpin  20:00

Yeah, and having been raised by two actors, you know, I think I took for granted that all parents were in touch with their imaginations in that way or had put themselves in every literal role in life possible. And I having a kid now it makes me realize how, I don’t know sort of magical My childhood was that my parents were just so in touch with their, their inner kid forever, even in their 70s.

Samantha Bee  20:29

What was it like for you when you got the script for Mrs. Davis? Yeah, it must have been like this. Because it’s completely its own thing. I don’t even know how to really describe it. It’s completely unto itself. And people just really have to watch it like yeah, when you read the script where you’re like, Holy fuck, yes. I don’t know what is happening. But I have to do this with every cell in my body. Yeah, of course.

Betty Gilpin  24:37

I mean, so Damon Lindelof and Tara Hernandez created it together. I had worked with Damon on the movie, the hunt. And that experience was one of the creative experiences of my life. I loved playing that character and I loved the blend of genres and that he sort of is such an expert in hiding your vegetables. Oh, to speak of just, you know, really saying something, but in a really new and silly and strange way. I read the pilot and thought I, you know, it was one of those stomach turning moments like, oh no. As much as I tell myself, aim for the middle, the top, it’s like it just not too very safe to dream specifically, I was like I’m dreaming specifically I really want to do this part.

Samantha Bee  25:26

Like a full sort of like a full action star now. Awesome. But in the best way.

Betty Gilpin  25:33

Thank you. Yeah, I feel like action is one of the many genres that the show is, but after glow, like people keep saying like, Oh, this is an action show. And I’m like, I don’t really remember. I didn’t get any concussions. So it doesn’t feel like an action show. But like, it has to be that level for me to classify it as action, I guess, from wrestling trauma. But even though it’s 100 different genres, to me, that’s more like life than when I read a script. And you’re like, Okay, it’s this tone this color all the time. And, yeah, I was foaming at the mouth wanting to do this part.

Samantha Bee  26:13

I felt like, okay, because you talk about it a lot in the book, like those moments where you get to feel like the magic and you get to see the light of the thing that you’re trying to create. And you just feel like that mystical experience of totally connecting to the material or like an other another actor in a scene. And you feel like that.

Betty Gilpin  26:36

Many people say they did. And then they’re like, and where are you from? And I’m like, page two of the book would address.

Samantha Bee  26:43

No, no, no, I’m deep. And I honestly, honestly felt like that I saw that moment with the horse.

Betty Gilpin  26:50

Yes. Oh, God, well, listener, if you have not seen the show, I have this. There’s a horse character played by a horse and a twist in the show, and I am supposed to have this kind of magical connection with him. And in real life, that horse hated me, like didn’t want to be near me. Absolutely. One time sneezed on my face, like 100 teaspoons, of course, not just flying up in the air and landing right on my face. But yeah, I did feel that I had so many moments like that on this show. You know, something I talk about in the book is trying to decipher the difference between that I’m sure anybody in any creative field feels this way, like the blessing and curse of getting to do your passion for a living is like, it’s confusing. It’s basically it’s two different things, having a moment where something that you thought would be buried in you forever, a moment where that’s flowing out into a room and recognized even by one other person. That is different from societal success, and like many claps and it’s interesting, because, you know, when I was doing theater that no one saw those moments were not too difficult to muddy. Like, I wasn’t like, what’s the difference between success and personal catharsis or something? And now it’s getting a little harder. But there are so many moments in this show where I was like, That day, I felt it, whatever that is the magic in that day and that day and that day. So regardless of whether the world claps are not, I had so many moments where I felt my soul aligned with my scene partner, even if it was a horse that hated me.

Samantha Bee  28:45

Well, you would never know and even knowing that even now knowing that it’s still the horse look like an angel. The horse was like, just like a beautiful, like a White Stallion with like, those beautiful feathery horse eyelashes just like lashes. Yes, I was jealous. Lashes horse lashes. Well, we can have them put on us.

Betty Gilpin  29:07

I did even as a nun. World we live in.

Samantha Bee  29:12

You actually you met with a bunch of like feminist nuns, right?  Can you tell me, how did you meet with?

Betty Gilpin  29:21

They were incredible. So my dad is an Episcopalian priest. And he set me up with three nuns think you know, who? You know, I think I just had such a cliche idea in my head of what a nun was like. And probably a lot of judgment around it. And I think I thought like, Oh, they’re cutting themselves off from society, and certain aspects of life in order to disconnect and white knuckle a way of life that doesn’t exist anymore. And in talking to these three very different multifaceted women, I realized Just how wrong I was it sort of yes, they’re cutting themselves off from certain things and denying themselves certain things but it’s in order to hyper connect and be like a living meditation. I mean, they were so I don’t know you know, again something I discussed in the book is like the feeling of having to go from and what we were talking about authentic self to present itself and sometimes that transition feels like wrenching a door open to get to like your ID or whatever. And they were just pure it they did not seem to have any present itself they were just like living screens.

Samantha Bee  30:43

Yeah, they’re so I do love guns. I grew up in going to Catholic school, but did you it was not my mother’s generation was like taught by like severe nuns, right? Yeah, I went to Catholic school and so there was always priests and nuns in my world and like, but like modern nuns, if you meet the right ones, I’m sure there’s, you know, like, antiquated for sure anachronisms but like, are the most Yes. Everything like possessions flow through them, like they are out there doing the ugliest yet hardest work helping people without complete judgment at all. Like they just they don’t bring that Catholic judgment to their interactions with people. They’re just like vessels of hell, right? It’s incredible what they do.

Betty Gilpin  31:34

Yeah. Oh, my God. Yes. I know, in talking to these women, I thought of all the times that you know, I’ve been on like badass women panels because I’m an actor who like did for stunts and talking to these women who have been at the border and that, you know, our actual badass is Yeah, I have shame for claiming I’m a badass for like fake kicking someone.

Samantha Bee  31:57

We probably should all get rid of the word badass because it’s being misused. It’s being overused. Kind of lately over we have to stop.

Betty Gilpin  32:06

And it’s it’s so it’s so only used for women and to me, it’s a little infantilizing of like a badass to me means like, Hey, good job. Look, if you get down and dirty, like no man is told, like, You’re so bad as it’s kind of patronizing.

Samantha Bee  32:26

Oh, my God, I never saw it that way. But you’re so right. They’re like, Oh, my God, You badass you wore white after Labor Day. That’s like a combination of patterns. I’ve never even imagined for myself. Groundbreaking and badass. So badass. You do talk in your book a lot about like, how it’s often easier or safer to just to be like a sidekick. Or to like some someone is someone’s sidekick and adopt characteristics of their personality. Like figure out your personality based on your personality?

Betty Gilpin  33:01

Yes, yeah. And let like a brave alpha, do all the risk and just kind of follow her around and shadow her and see if she dies trying and then kind of do this mediocre forgery.

Samantha Bee  33:16

When did that shift for you? When do you think that shifted for you? are completely? We must have?

Betty Gilpin  33:24

It has yeah. And some of my friends now tease me. They’re like, oh, here comes the cowering beta question mark, you know, like, they’re like, we don’t see you like that. Yeah, I think that I realized that and my husband really helped me. It took a man it took a man. Yeah, yeah. Well, he helped me realize that my self loathing and panic that I was taking up too much space was actually taking up more space than if I just took up space. Like, I think it was just I realized, like, oh, it’s it’s kind of just a different kind of solid Facism. Like, I’m still seeing the world through my lens just like, does everyone hate me is sort of just as loud as everyone loves me. Like, it’s a it I think that um, and I felt really embarrassed by that, like I, I’ve, it’s strange. I’ve been doing press enough years now that sometimes someone reads a quote that I said, seven years ago, and I’m like, Oh, I don’t stand by that anymore at all. I’m a completely different person now. And I think that’s getting older too. I think you just get too tired to hate yourself as much or you realize and having a daughter I think my emotional metabolism is much faster now. There’s just not enough room in my brain to hold on to this person said it’s an I shouldn’t be small. And next time I’ll do I’m like, I have to think about what’s in the diaper bag and You know, memorizing these lines and that’s all the information I can hold today.

Samantha Bee  35:06

I’m asking you too many questions about your book because I really did love it.

Betty Gilpin  37:32

No, oh my god. Okay, really. It’s a strange thing. It’s I remember when I was recording the audio book, The woman was like, oh, yeah, your book comes out soon, the calm before the calm like, in TV, I’m used to like it comes out and everybody watches it or hates it or whatever. And the book comes out. And then it’s like, you get two emails three months later, like, so talking to someone who’s read it. I’m like, This is not normal.

Samantha Bee  37:59

Okay, okay, because I’m gonna talk a little bit more about it. And I really advise everyone to because I thought it was like, for me, it was very cool. Listening to you. I feel like you give such solid advice for young actors, is very good stories about what it’s like to audition. What it’s like to have auditions that go poorly, which is all in the mix. Because like, it’s a real fucking grab bag. And if you if you will let it determine what your personality is. Or you let it determine your self worth, which all of us do. Right in fits and starts. It’s very damaging. And I appreciated how Frank your stories were. And I wondered, are there really egregious auditions that stand out to you? Where the feedback was just so fucking wild? You never forgot? I do have one for myself. It’s Oh, do you go? Oh, God, I put my I don’t audition for stuff anymore. Because I don’t really want to see don’t really want to do that. I like the niche that I found for myself. And I like doing the work that I do. So I can incredible news. Yes. And so I kind of stopped all of that other stuff, because they realized I really just, I don’t want to do it. But when I was still out there auditioning for pilot season, as you talked about in the book. I went out for something and I poured a lot into it. And I like definitely got my hair done. I definitely fucking like I brought as much heat as I can bring to the look of something, you know, which is really a challenge. And I think I did a really good job and it was really funny. And the feedback was, and so I went in for the like, it was like a camera test and the works. Were all there and the feedback was really, really like great job but we’re just like, what we’re really looking for is someone who’s just more like a brand new shiny copper penny. You’re a buffalo nickel babe. Yeah, buffalo nickel. You’re an old dirty nickel that we found under a tire.

Betty Gilpin  40:09

God, why was that conveyed to you? It’s insane. I mean, I did some interview yesterday, here in New York and walking into the building. I was like, there’s a casting office in this building. And I’ve cracked outside of this building so many times. I like when I smoked hammer lights, I would stand right there call my agent sobbing. Just flashbacks of insanity. Yeah, I mean, I’ve definitely had feedback like that. I remember auditioning for I think it was a play. And they called me back. But they said, tell her to remember that. The character description is the prettiest girl in town. And to come back looking like that. Am I supposed to do and I had been. And I had all the makeup on the first time and my nicest outfit. And this one. I was like, 23. I mean, I was like, I don’t know what you want me to do.

Samantha Bee  41:19

I need to go back and be reborn. Yeah, no. It’s not a note that you can. That’s not constructive. But it goes into like.

Betty Gilpin  41:27

Do you find I can say the meanest things about myself. And then sometimes when someone else like that says something I’m like, well, it’s not true. Like, that’s what it takes for me to find. Find confidence or something. I’m like, Oh, my God.

Samantha Bee  41:45

Like that guy. But it does take like, I never forget those.

Betty Gilpin  41:48

Yes, right. burned into your brain forever.

Samantha Bee  41:51

It’s just seared. There is a forever Yeah, memory. Oh, boy, when you wrote the book, where you like people will see themselves in this book, like people who read this will know who they are. But you did not. Name anyone? No, but people will see themselves. Yeah, go like, Oh, shit. I did that.

Betty Gilpin  42:10

I mean, yeah, maybe. And it it also I was I think it was super self conscious thinking that people would think like, oh, she thinks she’s famous enough to write, like, here’s what it was like, I know, you want to know. And actually, I was like, I want it to be like, here’s a person that you may not know, being like, here’s, here’s the view from the middle. Yeah, so that was sort of on purpose.

Samantha Bee  42:36

Do you don’t? You’re not on social media. You’re not on social media. I think that’s wise.

Betty Gilpin  42:41

I have a private Instagram. So I’m just as addicted as everyone else. Like I’m still sending videos of people falling down to my best friend group chats. But yes, I don’t have public social media.

Samantha Bee  42:52

That’s so smart. I barely interact with it at all. It’s like I personally don’t and I’m always so curious if it requires discipline on your part. Or if you’re like, No, actually, my experiences with it publicly, were so not healthy, that I just easily like it was like an easy divorce.

Betty Gilpin  43:14

I mean, again, I’m still addicted to the internet and my phone. So but no, I don’t think about it at all, in terms of I don’t understand how you have a public Instagram and you’re walking around and not sobbing all the time. Like I’m just way too sensitive. And also like the, I just think, the simultaneous pedestal. It’s like an undeserved pedestal and an undeserved deity. Nothing in between. You’re either like a queen that deserves everything or like you deserve to die. When actually we’re just I’m just, you know, a girl with rosacea trying to get appetizers. Just like everyone else. So yeah, I don’t know. And also, it makes me feel superstitious about being an actor. I don’t want to perpetuate this thing that like, unnecessary pillar of my business model of this thing that I love to do so much. Is youth like I don’t want to have my youth and the way I look be one of the necessary things that I promise I’ll always bring to the party to be allowed into the party. And that really makes me nervous because I’m like, I’m just getting started. I just got here. I want to be doing this for till I die, or until I’m too tired. And, like, Will I not be allowed to make faces on camera when my eyes have crow’s feet? Like, I mean, they have them now whatever. But like, I worry that our phones say that only 25 year olds can make faces.

Samantha Bee  44:58

Faces light like figure a kid like with a cat eye with a nice cat eye? Yeah. Do you enjoy watching your own work? Like when you sit down with your parents who will be watching your parents, obviously, because that’s a different experience. But like, do you sit? And do you watch the dailies?

Betty Gilpin  45:15

Do you generally don’t watch dailies? Definitely not. It has to be months and months and months after a thing is done. But I think that I, in the same vein of realizing my own panic about my presence in the world was louder than if I just calmed down and liked myself a little more. I think I also realized, like, oh, like, I remember having a bunch of friends over to watch the first lawn order I did. And the second my face can’t like I had seven friends in my apartment. And the second my face came on screen as like, I’ll be right back and went to the bathroom, and sobbed, sobbed. And it was so dramatic and so ridiculous. And, again, my husband, I remember called me on it once, after a play. I was like, Oh, I had a bad show. That was bad show. He was like, you just said that in front of the stage manager, who maybe had a great show tonight. Like it’s not all about your performance. It’s hot, hundreds of people have come together to make something together, your performance is one part of it. And I think I’ve gotten better. Even just knowing a little more about how the sausage is made. I’ve gotten better at like zooming out and watching a thing for what it is instead of like, did I jump through the hoop or not? Is my face the worst face you’ve ever seen? Or second worst face? I think I’ve realized it’s not all about that. I still panic a little bit. But I don’t know. I’m too tired now.

Samantha Bee  46:47

There’s not enough time in the world to worry about all of the things. Yeah. Right. Okay, in watching two episodes of Mrs. Davis. Yeah, I really enjoyed. Among other things, I really enjoyed that idea of force that comes up that emerges in the first, which is like when you think you’re choosing something, but it’s chosen for you. Right? Do you think that sometimes that makes life easier? There’s always a concept that you reject?

Betty Gilpin  47:20

I mean, I think that I so force is, I guess it’s a magician term. In studying magicians for this show, one of the many rabbit holes of the internet that I went down. Yeah, it’s sort of like when you think you’re choosing this card, but the magician has chosen it for you. And yeah, I think that I have approached my career a lot like that thinking like, well, there’s no way I could have a thesis statement here. I’m just going with force like, I’m just going with what’s given to me or there’s no, there’s no choosing in this world. Yeah, I think I’ve learned that you can, you can have a thesis statement, you can make conscious choices. And I think being a mom has, has done that for me if like you’re not just a shrugging person going with the current of the world’s like you, actually now your job is to put your fucking feet down and make decisions consciously and choose the way your life is going to go as much as possible. Because that’s, you know, as my daughter gets older, I, that’s the kind of person I want, right? Sure to see her mom being right. It is an interesting thing to have as an exercise or a reality now that like, there’s a little woman in my home watching me, and I wish I had lived my whole life like that, you know, because I wish that I had lived as if there was a little two year old being like, and that’s what a woman does. That’s what I’m supposed to do. And of course, that’s growing up and whatever, and hindsight and all that but I I’m going to try and start now. And just to reiterate, I’m perfect.

Samantha Bee  49:13

Do you really? Do you did it? No. I think that’s such a great way to it. That’s so interesting. It is interesting about having daughters, because I have two of them too. And I think that way too. I’m like, this taxi driver was so mean to us. Do I really want a model that I’m gonna give him a tip and be nice? No, I’m gonna model that I’m not gonna take this bullshit. And I’m going to tell them so that they can see that they don’t have to take people’s bullshit the way that I did. Right? Yeah. I love that. It’s good. I love it for all of us.

Betty Gilpin  49:45

Yeah, wait till in 20 years she finds out that like her Wesleyan tuition was paid by me taking out my tips on cameras like what an empowered she will cancel the our daughters our daughters will cancel us out.

Samantha Bee  50:00

It’s fine, but then they’ll have children of their own and come back and go. I see. Yes, exactly. Thank you. Yeah. This was great. Thank you so much for taking time. I love that so much.

Betty Gilpin  50:12

Yay. Thanks me too.

Samantha Bee  50:23

That was Betty Gilpin and I had no choice but to Google one thing after our conversation, look, I think she’s right. We do. I’m sorry to say this. We really need to retire the word badass. So I looked up some synonyms agitator, rebel, demagogue, dissident fighter Faranda, renegade sparkplug. None of those are really all that right. Okay, keep looking. Keep looking. Keep looking. Anyway, thanks so much to Betty Gilpin for joining me and good news. There’s more Choice Words with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like rapid fire trivia based off this interview with Betty subscribe now in Apple podcasts.

CREDITS  51:24

Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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