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How The GLOW Cast Got Their Biggest Bruises

(Image credit: Photos courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix has a show unlike anything else on TV, streaming or otherwise, with new series GLOW. It follows a group of out-of-work actresses who sign on for a professional wrestling TV show. Despite not knowing anything about the sport, the women who make up the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling bust out their best 1980s workout clothes to get into gear. The cast of GLOW actually did their own stunts for the show, and I was able to speak with actresses Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson about what it was like to get in the boxing ring. They told me about how they got their biggest bruises, saying this:

Kimmy Gatewood: You know when you get the most bruises? You get the most bruises from the ropes. When you run the ropes, you get bruises on your shoulders and right above your hip.Rebekka Johnson: Kimmy had a crazy purple bruise when we first started training, just because you run into the ropes and you bounce off of them and they're pretty hard! She was really bruised, and then they padded them a little bit.

Given how the ladies of GLOW spend a good chunk of the first season learning how to fight and fall hard, I would have guessed that they got the most banged up while actually wrestling each other. According to Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson, however, it was the ropes surrounding the ring that actually did the most damage. Of course, professional wrestling does involve a fair amount of faking injuries, so obviously they weren't going home every night with busted bones and concussions from battling their co-stars. Evidently you simply can't fake running into thick ropes.

That said, Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson were very clear to me that the whole team behind the scenes at GLOW took the actresses' safety very seriously and nobody suffered real injuries while filming wrestling scenes. Hopefully the extra padding on the ropes helped lessen the bruises. I can vouch for the fact that you definitely can't tell that the ropes got a little extra padding, so kudos to everybody at GLOW for doing such a thorough job selling that these women were taking all the bumps and bruises from beginning to end. I was sore just watching some of the wrestling scenes!

Considering that GLOW is a comedy -- and a completely hilarious one at that -- it's probably a good thing that the production team discovered the issue with the bruising ropes when the actresses were just beginning training. Episodes might have been distinctly less funny if the characters were all black and blue from start to finish. In fact, bruises might have distracted from all the epic 80s fashion and hair, and that would have been a tragedy. The shoulder pads, leotards, and big hair of GLOW really add a lot of humor to even the serious scenes. I may rewatch the season just to fully absorb everything, from the fashion to the wrestling.

All 10 episodes of GLOW will be available streaming on Friday, June 23 at 12:01 p.m. PT on Netflix. Check out our Netflix premiere schedule to see when other series will debut, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more GLOW coverage.

Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.