Betty Gilpin BiographyBetty Gilpin is an American actress, best known for her roles as Crystal in the thriller "The Hunt" and Debbie "Liberty Belle" Eagan in the Netflix comedy series "GLOW". For her work on "GLOW", she was thrice nominated for an Emmy Award as the best supporting actress. Gilpin also impressed fans with her depiction of Sister Simone, who grapples with the power of artificial intelligence in the sci-fi mini-series "Mrs. Davis" (2023).
Childhood, Youth, FamilyElizabeth Folan Gilpin (the actress's full name) was born in the summer of 1986 to parents John Mitchell Gilpin and Ann McDonough in New York City.
Her paternal great-great-grandfather, Lawrence Tyson, was a general and a politician, and her great-grandfather, General William "Billy" Mitchell, was a hero of World War I and the founder of the U.S. Air Force. Betty's uncle, Drew Gilpin Faust, served as the president of Harvard University for ten years.
Betty's parents worked in the Broadway theater and appeared in films. Her father has been in about 70 film projects, while her mother has been in just over 20. From an early age, Betty was struck by their performances on the theater stage. She explained:
When I watched my parents' shows, two actors on stage created something inexplicable between them. You feel like when you fall in love or spend time with a small child, an invisible electricity arises.The girl and her two younger brothers, Sam and Harry, grew up in a creative atmosphere in the historic port area of Manhattan, South Street Seaport, in a house with a ceiling made from fragments of an old ship. "It felt like it was our secret little fort," Gilpin confided.
When Betty was 9, the family moved from the city to Roxbury, Connecticut, where her father was ordained as a priest by the Episcopal Church.
After graduating in 2004, she returned to New York City and became a student at Fordham University in Manhattan. Her drama professor was the famous two-time Academy Award winner, Dianne Evelyn Wiest.
Speaking about her education, Betty noted:
We studied a lot of theater of the absurd at Fordham and ‘building your inner ocean of weird’ was the thesis statement,” she said. “Then graduating and auditioning for things like ‘Gossip Girl,’ where the No. 1 priority is muffling your ocean of weird and curling your hair, I didn’t work for a while because I was bad at both the muffling and the curling.Indeed, she has always taken acting seriously. She became an actress because she felt like a "strange girl with split ends, sitting somewhere off to the side in a slobber-soaked sweatshirt, making notes about human behavior."
Acting CareerGilpin's film debut was as Amanda Dockerty in the TV series "Law & Order". She appeared in four episodes, but was embarrassed by one in which she starred alongside actor Dylan Minnette:
He was a 14-year-old student, and I was his biology teacher, and we had a romance. I want to see him at a Netflix event to ask if he remembers. It was very creepy.The actress was later given guest roles in projects like "Fringe", "The Unusuals", and "Medium".
The first notable character created by Betty on screen was Dr. Carrie Roman in the dramedy "Nurse Jackie". The main role in the series was played by Edie Falco, but the producers finally noticed Gilpin. She played this role for three years.
Soon, she was offered one of the central roles in the sports comedy "GLOW" (2017), where her character, wrestler Debbie Eagan, also known as Liberty Belle, stood out as a free-spirited and vibrant individual.
For about a month, she and other actresses learned to wrestle, after which they began filming with Chavo Guerrero Jr from WWE. Before this, Betty had never been involved in sports, even at school. "In my school, you could do theater as a sport, so I staged 'As You Like It' while everyone else was playing football. I never had to use my body functionally," Gilpin recalled.
During her time on the series, the actress was nominated for an "Emmy" three times, and she finally gained confidence and in 2019 received her first leading role in the horror film "The Hunt" - a brutal statement about the problems of class inequality.
The film caused a public outcry, even Donald Trump spoke about how Hollywood is "very bad for our country", referring to the main storyline - how human hunters themselves become the objects of hunting.
In 2022, the actress partnered with Julia Roberts, Dan Stevens, and Sean Penn to star in the TV series "Gaslit", which tells the story of the Watergate scandal.
But the truly interesting role came to Gilpin in 2023. In the sci-fi series "Mrs. Davis", she appeared on screen as the main character - a nun named Simone, who enters an unequal battle with artificial intelligence.
Betty did not hide her enthusiasm for this character and, sharing her character's fear of AI, said in an interview:
I think about the brilliant scripts that Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof wrote along with the writers’ room, the themes that they delved into, it really made me think about the church and the internet as two separate things and how it’s really us that misuse them – or we create these institutions that go against what they’re probably originally designed for. Not being a person of faith myself, but it was probably supposed to be used as asking big questions and wandering and connecting, and probably the internet as well – we could be using it to explore gray areas and get smarter and connect with people. And instead, we’re really good at using these separate institutions as wish fulfillment echo chambers instead of these vessels for exploration and existential thought
Personal Life of Betty GilpinOn the set of the series "The Northern Kingdom," the actress met actor Cosmo Pfeil. She was 19 years old and her greatest wish was to become famous. However, her "on-screen brother" was patient. His persistent courtship developed into a serious relationship. In 2016, the actors got married after a long-term relationship, and in 2020, their daughter Mary was born.
Gilpin is one of those actresses who fiercely protect their family from outside interference. She does not have any public profiles on any social platform. Fans can only enjoy the few photos that appear in the media when Betty gives interviews to journalists.
Betty Gilpin NowIn 2023, Betty released her debut book, a collection of essays titled "All the Women in My Brain". This is a memoir, but an unconventional and deeply personal one. She talked about being raised in an acting family, school days filled with drugs, attempts to suppress depressive thoughts. And about how she struggled for years to make it in Hollywood before getting a more or less serious role in "Nurse Jackie". It was also from this book that her relationship with Cosmo Pfeil and the birth of their daughter became known.
The title refers to Betty's view of her own brain as a "room full of women who take turns at the wheel". The book received favorable reviews from critics.
Fans eagerly awaited the release of the drama series "Three Women", which was based on Lisa Taddeo's bestselling novel. In it, Betty landed the main role of Liza, a young woman living with an unloved husband. A sudden affair dramatically changes her character's life. On set, Gilpin's co-stars were Shailene Woodley, DeWanda Wise, and Gabrielle Creevy.
- From her youth, Betty Gilpin had a favorite pastime: observing people and then sharing her observations with her diary. Her passion for writing led to her daring to submit her essays to Lena Dunham's newsletter and publish them in Glamour magazine. One of these was titled "What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence with Watermelon-Sized Boobs".
- Gilpin is often compared to her British colleague Jodie Comer, Emmy award winner for her role as Oksana Astankova (Villanelle) in the drama series "Killing Eve". Her co-star in the movie "Mrs. Davis", Jake McDorman, stated:
If you take Lucille Ball and Meryl Streep and put them in a blender, you get Betty Gilpin.
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