LOS ANGELES | Anna Camp didn’t need another uptight woman on her resume. But the one in “Good Girls Revolt” goes through such a change “it was very fun and fascinating for me to play.”
Cast as a woman fighting for equality in the workplace in the late 1960s, she gets a journey that’s eye-opening for both her and the audience. In many ways, Camp says, the new Amazon series is an extension of “Mad Men.”
“At the end of the last season of ‘Mad Men,’ Joan was starting off her own company and starting to really assert herself as a woman in the industry and business.”
Camp’s Jane Hollander is very much in the traditional ‘60s mode. She wants the white picket fence, the family and the ideal home life. As women at her publication begin to see how they’re treated, they band together to effect change. Based on Lynn Povich’s book, the series features recognizable names who were part of landmark legislation. Eleanor Holmes Norton, for example, for example, is a congresswoman from the District of Columbia and one of the regular characters in the series.
It’s not a documentary, cautions producer Darlene Hunt, but it does represent the essence of the times. Norton, she says, “will call us out on little things…but she’s like, ‘Godspeed. Do your dramatic version.’”
For Camp, a lot of information has been gleaned from her mother, who lived through the times. “She got married right after her freshman year of college,” the actress says. “In those days, you either became a nurse or a teacher or a flight attendant. Later, she went back to college and now she’s a Democratic Party activist.”
Putting on the ‘60s clothes, Camp says, gives her a sense of the times almost immediately. “We have to wear pantyhose every day and we’ve got a girdle on top of that, which keeps me in this upright position. It was a very constricting time and you feel like you’re always dressed up.”
Interestingly, when Camp is in costume, she’s called “doll” and “honey” by members of the crew. “I’ve never been called ‘doll’ or ‘honey’ more. They don’t realize what show they’re working on.”
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While the uptight woman still exists – Camp played versions in “Pitch Perfect” and, most recently, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – they react largely out of fear. “They’re afraid of failure,” she says. ‘They’re scared of knowing their own power. They’re scared of not being perfect. They don’t feel as if they’re enough in some way. They have a lot of walls that need to be broken down.”
Conversely, Camp is producing films, juggling a new home life (she just married “Pitch Perfect” co-star Skyler Astin) and weighing the possibilities of “Pitch Perfect 3.”
“You have to be persistent, passionate and prepared in this business,” the 34-year-old says. “There’s also always the luck issue that you can’t deal with.”
Because “Good Girls Revolt” will end its first season with the women filing a complaint, there’s plenty to fill subsequent seasons.
“The thing about this complaint is that it had less to do with legality and more to do with how it changed and galvanized these women to change friendships, their own self-esteem, and change their personal, primary relationships with their new families,” says Executive Producer Dana Calvo.
“We knew where we wanted them to end,” adds Hunt. “And then we mapped out the journey.”
Camp made sure before she signed on that her character wouldn’t be another Type A woman. “I wanted to make sure she was different. She definitely starts off a woman of the ‘50s. But, hopefully, by the end of the series, we’ll see her burn her bra. There’s a giant arc there, which is very exciting.”
“Good Girls Revolt” is now streaming on Amazon.