It’s about time you got to know Gayle Rankin. There’s a good chance you’ve seen her work as Queen Victoria in the box office smash, The Greatest Showman, or playing Shelia the She-Wolf on the hit Netflix series, GLOW, but Rankin’s resume is also loaded with other projects that consistently push her range and cement her as a standout rising star. Looking for further proof that Rankin is the real deal? Just wait until you see what she does throughout Season 1 of HBO’s Perry Mason.
Rankin plays Emily Dodson on the show, the mother of a baby who’s abducted and ultimately murdered. It’s tough to dig into the complexity of the role and why Rankin’s performance is exceptional without nearing spoiler territory, but do know that what Emily goes through challenges Rankin to ride an emotional rollercoaster through a corrupt legal system that causes Emily to call everything she’s done into question.
You can watch Rankin’s full episode of Collider Ladies Night at the top of this article or listen to the podcast audio below to hear all about her experience first signing on for Perry Mason, what it was like starring in the show alongside heavyweights like Matthew Rhys and John Lithgow, and why she thinks the series will appeal to fans of the source material and newcomers as well. On top of that, she also detailed her journey to scoring her very first gigs, what it was like working on such a big set piece in The Greatest Showman, the key to understanding Sheila when she first signed on for GLOW, and so much more.
Be sure to catch Rankin in Episode 2 of Perry Mason, which airs tonight on HBO!
- 00:58 – What was Rankin watching when she was young that influenced her taste in projects now?
- 02:35 – The actor and film that made a huge impression on Rankin and contributed to inspiring her to get into the industry.
- 04:37 – The projects that made Rankin believe a career in Hollywood could be the real deal for her.
- 06:08 – Rankin discusses when she first noticed an uptick in opportunities; her first TV job was actually a pilot for HBO.
- 07:55 – Rankin explains why studying acting at Juilliard was a necessary part of her journey.
- 10:58 – Rankin revisits working on Law & Order.
- 12:01 – Why Rankin continues to make short films; her “abstract” filmmaking goals.
- 16:25 – Rankin talks about being part of The Greatest Showman.
- 19:00 – What were her expectations for Sheila when she first signed on for GLOW?
- 21:00 – The specific thing that made a huge difference when first finding Sheila.
- 22:05 – How they approached finding the right balance between the comedy and also showing respect for species dysphoria.
- 23:55 – Has Rankin put much thought into finding her own spirit animal?
- 26:37 – Have they discussed why Sheila chose to become a wolf to begin with?
- 28:18 – Rankin offers an update on GLOW Season 3.
- 29:20 – Rankin discusses her first impressions of HBO’s Perry Mason.
- 31:56 – The importance of having a strong collaboration with a casting director.
- 33:46 – Rankin highlights a member of the Perry Mason cast who brings far more out of his role than she ever could have imagined.
- 35:14 – What is it about this new Perry Mason that will appeal to fans of the source material and bring in newcomers?
- 37:00 – Get to know Gayle Rankin with some rapid fire questions! She talks about her new cat, what she used to collect, the last show she binge watched, her guilty pleasure food of choice, her cooking and baking skills, the film franchise she’d love to join, and her biggest fear overcome.