Actor Britt Robertson has landed her biggest role yet, playing fashion entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso in Netflix’s new series Girlboss.
The series is “loosely” based on Amoruso’s real-life career, from selling vintage clothes on eBay to creating a global online fashion business Nasty Gal, turning over $300 million a year.
However, since the series was commissioned, Nasty Gal has filed for bankruptcy – but Amoruso is channelling her business instincts into new projects. After publishing her memoir #Girlboss in 2014, she’s launched her own new media company called (yep, you guessed it) Girlboss.
So, what else do we need to know about Netflix’s new 13-part comedy, released on Friday 21 April? Find out more about its story and lead actress right here.
Who is Sophia Amoruso?
32-year-old US entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso is the founder and former CEO of Nasty Gal. In 2002 after dropping out of college, she started selling vintage clothes on eBay in an effort to turn a quick buck.
“The story of Sophia Amoruso is that, in her early 20s, we have this girl who is this broke, anarchist, pissed-off-at-the-world college dropout,” Girlboss series creator and Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon says. “She ultimately finds her passion of selling clothes online. … six years later, (she) has a personal net worth of $180 million-plus and 350 employees.”
She was named one of America’s richest self-made women by Forbes in 2016.
She had also published her first book, #Girlboss, in 2014, part memoir and part millennial business success manual.
However, on 9 November 2016 Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy.
“Nasty Gal had struggled for years, so, sadly, this was less of a shock,” she wrote in InStyle earlier this April. “We’d been through multiple rounds of layoffs and lawsuit after lawsuit and couldn’t keep up with the ever-changing retail model. After putting my own money into the business in 2015 and handing over the keys to a veteran CEO, I decided to play to my strengths and focus on what mattered most: the brand. I worked on big-picture strategies and partnerships. I gave it hell. But it was already too late.”
However, based on the #Girlboss brand she’s started another company, “a community and media company for women that focuses on redefining success, called surprise – Girlboss.”
Amoruso has also been a key part of the new series with Netflix, meeting with star Britt Robertson ahead of filming and serving as executive producer alongside Hollywood star Charlize Theron and creator Kay Cannon.
in the fictionalised series, Amoruso is played by Britt Robertson.
Who is Britt Robertson?
Girlboss star Britt Robertson admits she “knew nothing about her clothing line or her brand” when she auditioned for Netflix’s latest comedy. It was only after she got the part that she met Amoruso.
“It was weird,” Robertson says. “It was like a combination of what I had learned about her and from her, but also it is a fictionalised version; we’re not trying to mock or imitate her.”
Robertson moved to LA from North Carolina aged just 14, picking up small parts in a range of TV series and movies, including Law & Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Tangled Up In Blue (alongside Robert Downey Jr).
Now just 27 years old herself, she’s starred in movies including Tomorrowland opposite George Clooney and 2017’s The Space Between Us. She’s also featured in TV series including Under the Dome and supernatural teen drama The Secret Circle.
“After meeting her, it’s so funny how similar we are,” Amoruso says of Robertson. “She’s an incredible talent, but she also brings her own spirit to the character.”
Robertson explained that although it was odd playing a fictionalised version of a real person (let alone your executive producer), once filming got underway she felt much more comfortable.
“She was a really big presence early on,” Robertson says of Amoruso. “She was involved in the production, costume and art design. She was very hands-on with the look of the show, but when we got on to the acting part, she’s not an actor. She doesn’t know what I’m doing. So at that point she took a step back and waited patiently for the episodes to arrive.”
While the series doesn’t reach the events of the bankruptcy itself, Robertson says she’s keen for more series and a chance to dramatise that point in Amoruso’s career.
“It’s so entertaining!” she says. “There’s nothing better than playing this girl who thinks she’s found success and spent a decade pouring her love and energy into something that maybe she’s going to have for the rest of her life – and then she has the rug pulled out from underneath her. Then it’s like, ‘You’re starting over, what are you going to do now?’”