Britt Robertson on ‘Girlboss’ and the Advice Charlie Theron Gave Her

Actress Britt Robertson

“It takes a brave person to do that and to get up every day and still give it your best shot rather than just cowering with fear.” – Britt Robertson on Failure

The Netflix series Girlboss — which is based on the autobiography by businesswoman Sophia Amoruso, who founded the fashion retailer Nasty Gal — stars The Longest Ride actress Britt Robertson as a fictionalized version of Amoruso, Sophia Marlowe. True to the label’s name, Robertson portrays a character who is often ruthless and unforgiving — a trait common in business characters played by male actors, but much less common with female characters in entertainment. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robertson talks about the help she had on the role from executive producer Charlize Theron as well as what being an actress has in common with her character.

Robertson spoke a little about what advice Theron gave her on playing her character, reminding her that she had choices on how to play scenes. Robertson reveals, “After our table read of the first three episodes, she gave me a call and talked me through the read through and sent me a few interviews of Sophia that she thought would be helpful for me to look at. She was also in our rehearsal space everyday leading up to filming. She was very involved in the pre-production aspect. There was one scene at the end of episode two where I’m standing outside in the rain and talking to Shane [Johnny Simmons] about how my life has to be better than this and she gave me a couple of notes on how I could play it. She was like, ‘Why don’t you try one where you’re fully breaking down and crumbling? And do one where you force yourself to stay strong, and you just try to not crack.’ She was always playing around with the direction of the scene to see different flavors and probably testing me to see if I could even do that.”

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Because her character experiences several career ups and downs, Robertson felt very close to her since actors experience similar bumps in the road in their careers. She points out, “Being an actor you’re constantly thrust into a world where you’re giving people the license to talk about you and have opinions about you and your work. That alone creates a sense of success and failure and ups and downs. I’ve definitely had that. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been doing this for a really long time that it’s all normal life to me now and I’m not greatly affected by it. But there was a point in time where I would feel if I failed, I would never be able to recover and it was the end. Whereas now what I’ve taken from the show is this idea that you don’t have to be perfect. You can fail and you can suck. It takes a brave person to do that and to get up every day and still give it your best shot rather than just cowering with fear.”

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