By Juliet Izon | April 6, 2017 | People
Sophia Amoruso, Kay Cannon, and Britt Robertson discuss their roles in making Netflix’s Girlboss, the women they look up to, and more.
Britt Robertson as Sophia Amoruso in Girlboss.
Based on the New York Times bestselling book #Girlboss, Netflix’s latest half-hour series (premiering April 21) of the same name centers around female entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, who created the multi-million-dollar Nasty Gal brand when she was just 28 years old. Adapted for television by executive producers Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect, 30 Rock) and actress Charlize Theron, the show is a true testament to girl power. We caught up with Amoruso, Cannon, and actress Britt Robertson, who plays Sophia in the series, to chat about adapting a real-life story, role models, and creative Photoshopping.
“I was thinking how wonderful it felt to actually vote for a woman for President of the United States. I cried,” says Cannon. “To be that close and really feel like you’re moving forward and now I really feel like we’re taking steps back. There’s a fight ahead of us. I’m proud that this show is coming out. I’m proud of the message it’s sending. And hopefully it’s giving all women permission to take risks, dare to suck, fail, and pick themselves back up and face things.”
The entrepreneur admits she was hesitant on some level to put her life and career out there. “You just have to have a lot of trust,” she says. “These are incredible collaborators and amazing talent. This is a star team; this is as good as it gets. I think if this were any other team, this might be really uncomfortable.” And look out for this Easter egg: “There were these photo booth strips of my friends and me that I had sent them for inspiration, to say, ‘This is what I was doing when I was 22,’” Amoruso says. “And they photoshopped Britt’s face onto them!”
“I think fear plays a big part in things,” says Cannon. “I know that there’s a lot of women who feel trapped in all different kinds of ways. To use myself as an example, I was really afraid of getting divorced, then I got divorced and I was okay. I basically stayed in a marriage for way too long because I was afraid. I didn’t feel like I was the boss of my own life.”
“A girl said, ‘Your book helped me get through a really unhealthy relationship.’ Just overall, if seeing somebody fail at scale gives other people confidence to go do that on their own, I’m happy to be a guinea pig for that. I’m just going to try not to fail, like, all the time,” Amoruso laughs.
Robertson, the on-screen Amoruso, agrees: “You realize, once you fall flat and you pick yourself back up again, it’s okay. You will fail and you will have successes and sometimes those failures will mean more than those successes. You get to a point in your life where it all makes you who you are, and you’ll be proud of all of it in its entirety. So I’m just trying to embrace it!”
For Cannon, it’s the inimitable Tina Fey. “She’s not only my friend, but she gave me my first job at 30 Rock. That was my first writing gig. She just walked the walk and has inspired me in all sorts of ways,” she says. And for Robertson, producer Charlize Theron has been an inspiration. “Charlize was really instrumental in allowing me to be an actor and to create this character. And it was nice having her by my side, being as successful as she has been. She’s a strong girl boss of a woman,” she says.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAREN BALLARD/NETFLIX