Just under ten years ago, Kate Nash’s debut album Made of Bricks was sat atop the UK albums chart. Then 19 years old, she had become the post-Lily Allen popstar that Britain needed in a world dominated by Coldplays, Kanye Wests and, for a brief spell a few months later, both of them at once.
Fast forward to 2017, and the singer is at the beginning of a blossoming acting career, with a starring role on Netflix’s new women’s wrestling comedy GLOW. How on earth did that happen?
“I had auditioned for things and done a little bit of acting over the years,” she told RadioTimes.com.
“I got a pilot with Jenji Kohan [creator of OITNB and Executive Producer of GLOW] directed by Gus Van Sant, about the Salem witches, but it never got picked up.
“It was really cool. I was like in the woods shoving sticks up women’s vaginas. I felt very at home there! But Jenji liked my work on that, so when GLOW came up I got the part”.
Her mainstream acting debut on GLOW is a doozy, starring as a ditzy but sympathetic young actress who falls for Marc Maron’s sardonic B-movie director Sam Sylvia, who has reluctantly taken on the showrunner job in an amateur women’s wrestling programme.
But Nash has no plans to quit the music industry altogether. She has successfully crowdfunded her next album, but how and when this will come out will depend on how well GLOW is received.
“I’ve got a lot of the songs pretty much ready, it’s just a case of deciding when to release the album, and that does depend on GLOW and if we get season two. But I have to get it out by February because of the kickstarter,” she said.
For Maron, involvement in GLOW was a slightly more straightforward transition. Though the comedian is perhaps best known for his podcast series – weekly in-depth interviews with celebrities – he starred in his own sitcom, Maron, which was distributed in the UK by Netflix.
“I liked the guy, I thought I could do that guy. I thought he would be a fun, kind of sad character to play”, he said, “I liked his brokenness and his down-and-out demeanor”.
Sam Sylvia is not a great stretch from characters Maron has played in the past: self-loathing, neurotic but undeniably endearing at heart.
In embracing the sport themselves, the pair seem to have become immersed in the spectacle of wrestling.
“I really respect and appreciate the culture of it. It’s like music to them, the fans are fairly innocent and there’s something childlike about it,” Nash said.
“The first time you slam down on that mat it is a shock to the system. It does hurt. It’s a weird rush though, I can see how it’s easily addictive,” she added.