Girl, she’s a boss

Netflix se­ries high­lights mogul who turned vin­tage wear into an em­pire

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - ALI­CIA RANCILIO NEW YORK —

Britt Robert­son is no stranger to hav­ing to emote on the screen. She played a foster kid who finds her birth par­ents in the CW se­ries “Life Un­ex­pected” and a young wait­ress kid­napped and held hostage in CBS’ “Un­der the Dome.”

The 27-year-old actress is now star­ring in the Netflix com­edy “Girl­boss,” based on the rags-toriches story of Sophia Amoruso, who started sell­ing vin­tage cloth­ing on eBay in her early 20s and built the Nasty Gal em­pire that made her a mil­lion­aire. The best­selling “#Girl­boss,” pub­lished in 2014, is the ba­sis for the se­ries.

Robert­son says she thought act­ing in a half-hour com­edy would be easy, but play­ing a ver­sion of the fear­less and witty Amoruso, called Sophia Mar­lowe on the show, was “energy-suck­ing.”

“It took more out of me than any­thing else I’ve ever done in my life, in a good way. You want to be chal­lenged. You want to be ful­filled and that takes energy, but ... it’s hard,” she said re­cently.

Robert­son had to change her look for the show, dy­ing her blond hair to chest­nut brown and adding bangs. She also rocked vin­tage cloth­ing to rep­re­sent Amoruso’s style.

“I think it was re­ally im­por­tant for me to change the way I look. Even when we were do­ing the cos­tume fit­tings we would have to put a wig on me. It was so hard to pic­ture the real Sophia character I was try­ing to em­body while I look like a bleach-blond surfer girl. It just didn’t re­ally make that much sense. I loved it. It was so much fun for me.”

Amoruso stepped down as CEO of Nasty Gal in 2015. The com­pany filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy the fol­low­ing year and Amoruso re­signed from the com­pany.

Robert­son says she’s not sure if fu­ture sea­sons of “Girl­boss” would fol­low the real story of Sophia’s life that closely.

“Sophia’s story is still chang­ing so much as we speak,” she said.

“She’s at a re­ally cru­cial part where she’s fig­ur­ing things out a decade later in a dif­fer­ent way so I think it just de­pends. Also she’s a pro­ducer on the show. I’m sure she’ll have some di­rec­tion she’d like us to go in, but maybe not.

“She was very for­giv­ing when we started do­ing the show and with my per­for­mance and with the writ­ing; I hope we can take the things she’s ex­pe­ri­enced in life be­cause it’s very fas­ci­nat­ing. I hope peo­ple would love to hear a ver­sion of the story that isn’t just the me­dia side, but we’ll see.”

Now that “Girl­boss” has been re­leased on Netflix, Robert­son is en­joy­ing her time off from the se­ries.

“For the first time I re­al­ize how im­por­tant it is for me to en­joy what I’m do­ing and have a good time in the process. I’m re­ally liv­ing right now. I went to South Africa. I went on a sa­fari. I went diving with great whites (sharks). The last two days I went to Mets games, which are my favourite base­ball team. I’m re­ally liv­ing. I’m do­ing it all. This is my time to check off bucket-list stuff.”

KAREN BAL­LARD, NETFLIX

Britt Robert­son stars in “Girl­boss,” which is based on the Nasty Gal em­pire.

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