The shiny-new series Girlboss premieres on Netflix today, meaning your weekend plans are très sorted. The show is a loose adaptation of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s 2014 bestseller #GIRLBOSS, a memoir that relays her meteoric rise to e-commerce clothing queen.
Collective Hub founder and CEO Lisa Messenger is presently binge-watching the show while scribbling episode wraps (stay tuned). Last week, Lisa also caught up with original Girlboss Sophia to discuss the show and its journey from page to screen, including how Charlize Theron had a big part in bringing it to life.
You are the boss of re-framing success. Can you tell me how the series Girlboss came about?
“I wrote [the book] Girlboss in 2014 now, so it will be almost three years to the date, because it came out May 6th of 2014. I work with WME [William Morris Endeavour agency], I have a literary agent there, and Charlize Theron got her hands on the book and loved it. She has a production company called Denver and Delilah, they were looking for a showrunner, writer, creator… and [screenwriter, 30 Rock] Kay Cannon, who is very much in demand, became the person that we absolutely had to have. And so we got together with Kay, she read the book, loved it and it was kind of just like all the stars aligned; it wasn’t a difficult thing to put together. It definitely took a little while – Netflix is very picky – but that was a good two years ago, probably. We were all there, we pitched Netflix and they loved it and it just went from there.”
What’s it like watching Britt [Robertson of Tomorrowland] play you?
“You know, it’s inspired by me, the story is very much mine and the character is largely based on my personality, but it’s also a creation between Kay’s writing and Britt’s talent and Christian [Ditter]’s directing. So I would say that the Sophia on the show is a reflection of me, but it’s her own person and not everything that’s said on the show actually happened, not everything that happens on the show actually happened, there’s creative licence.”
What was the process like, bringing the show together?
“It’s about finding the right director, because you want to make sure that you have the right look for the show. It’s a comedy, but we didn’t want it to look like a ham comedy that just takes place in one room with swinging doors and bad lighting. So we found Christian, who directed How To Be Single with Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson, and he’s just super-duper talented. Then we got into the casting process. It was funny to have moved to LA six years ago and having no idea what all these people at coffee shops were doing: they are writing scripts, they are in between castings, I’ve just never really seen the inside of how that side of town works.
“So then we started casting, and the first casting just had to be the character of Sophia; it’s just such an important role. She’s in almost every shot and almost every scene. I mean, she’s on camera the whole time, so finding someone who had a great level of experience as an actor, who wasn’t a newbie, has been on set, who knew the ropes, and also wasn’t someone that had been branded in some other way, who was a bit – I don’t want to call Brit a blank canvas – but this is a very different role for her, so it was nice to work with someone who we could shape in a way, I guess. She’s just an incredibly talented actress and she won everyone over in the casting room.”
Stay tuned for Lisa Messenger’s Girlboss episode wrap-ups on Collective Hub.