GLOW star Marc Maron talks Sam Sylvia, #metoo and more

On Netflix’s GLOW, Marc Maron’s acerbic and salty director with an angle, Sam Sylvia, is one of television’s best antihero characters of late.

And if you ask him, it’s a nice change from playing himself on TV [Maron, IFC] according to a revealing new interview roundtable with comedy’s Emmy actors for The Hollywood Reporter.

Maron was joined by Baskets star Louie Anderson, plus TV veterans Ray Romano, Sean Hayes, Tony Shalhoub and Tracy Morgan who each discussed the business from the current filtered lens of #metoo and how they interpret their unique characters on the smallscreen.

On GLOW, Maron’s Sylvia is surrounded by a cast of female characters who work hard trying to get their wrestling careers established, make it in Hollywood and simultaneously be taken seriously.

Marc Maron
Sylvia and Bash pep talk the GLOW ladies ahead of a televised match

In the interview, Maron was asked about his role on female-centric GLOW.

He said: “I’ve never been around this many women in my life — and the fact that they’re learning how to wrestle, doing this thing that’s very theatrical and then the amount of hair and makeup that they have to go through because it’s the ’80s, there was definitely a lot of empathy and a lot of pride that I felt and I was very moved by the camaraderie. I’d get choked up when they’d succeed in doing things. I was not, like, anti-women before I went in, so I’m not going to tell you, like, ‘Who knew they were humans?’ But the thing it did increase was my respect.”

Marc Maron
Sylvia coaches Ruth and Debbie about their ring characters

Initially, in season one, Sylvia took the assignment of GLOW with a grain of salt and little else. Then something happened when he saw the potential for GLOW as they got better and a real sellable storyline emerged between Betty Gilpin’s character Debbie and Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie).

From those two’s personal backstory of betrayal, Maron’s Sylvia helps them fashion their ring personas – Liberty Bell and Zoya the Destroya – two arch-enemies in the wrestling ring who immediately resonated with audiences and put wind in B-movie king Sylvia’s creative sails.

Season two promises to be loaded with more standout Sylvia quotes and moments as he wrangles the wrestlers, TV notoriety and tries to step into some semblance of a fatherhood role as well.

In the beginning of his career, Maron came up in the comedy clubs of Los Angeles and has worked steadily in comedy going on three decades. Fans of Maron know that he continues with his popular WTF podcast. 

Marc Maron, Barack Obama
Maron interviewed POTUS Obama for WTF Podcast

He has interviewed comedians to presidents and has a devoted amongst his peers as well as fans who enjoyed his show Maron on IFC and read his books, the latest being Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast.

In last his newsletter (April 30) after he completed his tour dates in Ireland, he explained his complicated relationship with the Irish.

“I’ve had a tense relationship with the Irish in the past,” wrote Maron.

“I started my career in the Boston area and I made my bones in comedy performing in bad situations for New England Townies. Many were the Boston Irish. It was no easy task to find a middle ground with them as an angry, neurotic Jewish guy in his twenties but I was determined to do it and I did most of the time. I can’t say I was being my authentic self but I was in a kind of stage survival mode. I found the audiences to be tough and seemingly mean and judgmental. I thought the Irish didn’t like me. It was a generalization but it came out of insecurity, not contempt.”

Maron explained the differences between American Irish and the real deal. He said: “Maybe the American Irish, not unlike the Jews or Italians that made their way to America a few generations ago, had to fight for their place as people and as communities and that gave them a bit of an edge. There’s a certain sense of surrender and kindness here in the old country. I may be romanticizing it but so be it. I guess what I’m saying is I like the people here [in Ireland].”

Make sure to catch Maron back as Sam Sylvia as GLOW returns June 29 on Netflix, read our rundown here and watch for interviews on M&C ahead of the series premiere.

GLOW Season 2 launches globally on Netflix June 29.

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