There are so many spotlight-worthy characters among the team of lady wrestlers on Netflix’s GLOW that the show’s creators didn’t exactly need to add anyone else to the roster. If they did decide to throw someone else in the ring for the stellar, just-released third season, at least that someone was Oscar-winning genius archer Geena Davis.
The star of Thelma and Louise, A League of Their Own, and more recently Grey’s Anatomy joins the show just as the rest of the cast arrives in Las Vegas, where the new season is set. She plays glamorous executive Sandy Devereaux St. Clair, who graduated from showgirl to entertainment director at the hotel casino that’s hosting the wrestling act. Although she’s skeptical at first, Sandy comes around to wrestling’s potential to put asses in casino seats. She also serves as a potential role model for Debbie (the Emmy-nominated Betty Gilpin), who is trying to build a future in show business that doesn’t necessarily rely at least in part on her looks. How their relationship turns out—well, you’ll just have to watch to see.
In one surprising moment late in the season—and let’s just consider this a minor spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t yet watched all of GLOW season 3—Davis’s character hearkens back to her showgirl days in a way viewers may not see coming. She emerges onstage in the casino, wearing an extremely skimpy and revealing showgirl outfit that fits as though she never stopped wearing it. Considering Hollywood’s tendency to deny women the chance to be sexy once they’re no longer ingenues, it’s the kind of progressive scene that fits right in with this particular show.
Talking with the creators of GLOW recently for a separate piece, Fast Company asked them how the scene came about. Surprise: It turns out Davis, 63, is the one who suggested it. Here’s what Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch said about that moment:
“We had an initial, very broad conversation with Geena when she first came on, to talk about the character and, you know, sort of our intention and the season’s shape and things like that. Also, we’re freaking out over the fact that she’s doing the show at all because she’s Geena Davis. And I think we just asked her, you know, is there anything you’re really interested in, or are there any dreams that you have for this character, and she’s like ‘Well, I’m thinking if she’s a former showgirl, maybe I put on a showgirl costume at some point.’ And we were like, ‘Oh . . . great!’ And we just sort of kept that in the back of our heads. Then when we wrote that story for episode nine, that’s how it came out.”
The lesson here is very clear, Hollywood: Always hire Geena Davis.