Netflix GLOW Star Britt Baron on Suicide and Mental Health

GLOW star Britt Baron is making her way into the acting world. The Netflix original series, which follows a struggling actress in Los Angeles in the 1980’s who eventually goes on to create the first women’s wrestling TV show, is rising and so is its scene stealer Justine, whom is portrayed by Britt. Britt’s first scene stealing role was in the first grade at a theater camp, acting as none other than Sherlock Holmes. “What sticks out to me was that I really wanted to play Sherlock Holmes and never thought twice about the part being meant for a boy or even that I had never acted before, I didn’t even know if I would be good at it! As a young girl, it never crossed my mind to let my gender or appearance define what roles I wanted or thought I was able to play.

There is something so beautiful about being young, opportunities seem endless, and all that matters is how you see yourself, you have no concept of how the world sees you.” Her first on screen role was for TV Land’s Jennifer Falls, and although the actress only had about “three or four lines,” she describes the opportunity as beautiful, strange, and magical, and the adventure became even more exciting when stepping onto the set of GLOW. “It feels like a huge slumber party. Our trailers were all next to each other in what we called ‘GLOW ALLEY.’  We were all screaming, laughing, sharing stories, reading, and running in and out of each other’s rooms all day long. On set our chairs were put together in the back locker room set, so we really were always all together. It is just an incredibly fun and supportive place to work.

There were so many impromptu songs being made up and games being played. I think everyone was so excited to have the opportunity to be on a show like GLOW, because it’s a show that we are proud of and feel fortunate to be a part of, so the attitude on set was always so positive, everyone was genuinely happy to be there! Not to mention, seeing each other in different 80’s costumes every day created such a fun sense of play, we were constantly laughing. Also the food, the food is the best on GLOW. We have the best crafty, seriously. It’s dangerous.” She enjoys and feels safe being surrounded by the women of the show, and expresses her gratitude towards costars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin for being leaders while still treating everyone as equals. Britt also added that her character Justine is much cooler than she is, but she relates to the experience Justine has of being the young one in the group of girls on the show. “I am the youngest of the girls and this was my first big television role so, in a way, everything was very foreign to me, and I was learning as I went along. Justine is fiercely independent, brave, opinionated, intelligent, insecure, unsure, observant, and still continuing to grow and learn about the world and herself. I can relate to so much of that, she is growing and learning and still finding her footing and transforming and I feel, in my real life I am right there with her.

” Aside from starring in GLOW, she voices video games and supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  “The AFSP is an amazing organization that is committed to bringing awareness to suicide prevention and mental health conditions. I am currently fundraising for a walk in Los Angeles in October to raise awareness and fund research for, educational programs, advocating for public policy, and for supporting survivors of suicide loss and I am planning on participating in their overnight “Out of the Darkness” walk this upcoming year. Suicide and mental health conditions affect millions of people and they are still largely misunderstood and often not talked about. I recently lost my cousin to suicide and experienced firsthand how little is understood about mental health. We are conditioned in society not to talk about depression or suicide publicly and to be ashamed of mental health conditions and this perpetuates an endless cycle of suffering and isolation. I refuse to continue to feed into the stigma. We need more funding and research but we also need to reach out to one another, ask for help, communicate, and most importantly listen.

The AFSP has fundraising walks all over the country and I encourage anyone who is interested to look into fundraising for a walk near them.” Britt’s life hasn’t changed much since beginning her big role, but states that “I have become a stronger more resilient person. An acting career comes with a lot of rejection, it is a roller coaster of ups and downs, and learning how to trust myself and my own work and learning from my mistakes but also not letting them define me has made me a stronger person.  As an actor, it’s easy to compare yourself to others as you are constantly competing with one another for parts. I think after maybe a year or so of living and auditioning in Los Angeles I started to really hate my appearance and my body and everything about myself. This career and city can offer you the world but it can also cut you down. But my career has taught me to stay true to myself because trying to be someone I’m not or changing who I am has never led to success for me. It’s the moments when I am trusting my instincts and myself and embracing who I am and the way that I look that have served me best. It’s all a big learning process for me, most of the time I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. With each new experience I grow and learn, it’s an exciting journey!”

Follow Britt on both Instagram and Twitter @brittbaron.

Written by Amya Mitchell

PHOTO CREDIT:  PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessica Castro Photography
HAIR: Charles Dujic
MAKE UP: Andre Sarmiento

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