Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.
Fan-favorite actress Alison Brie recently returned on-screen in Prime Video’s Somebody I Used to Know, which features both drama and comedy. Throughout her career, the 40-year-old actress proved she can switch between genres as she’s comfortable both making people cry and laugh. Fans generally appreciate Brie for her work on several successful television series, including Community, but her resume also includes different memorable movie roles as well.
Here’s a list of the best Alison Brie movie & TV show characters.
Trudy Campbell in Mad Men (2007–2015)
One of the first times Brie showcased the potential of her acting skills was in the highly-appreciated Mad Men, where she portrayed the wife of the overly-ambitious Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), one of the executives at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. The relationship between Trudy and Pete turned sour over the seasons as Pete never shied away from searching for other women’s love.
Brie’s Trudy was just a recurring character who popped up in the lives of the other people working on Madison Avenue in New York City from time to time, yet she breathed much humanity into her role as the humiliated wife. It says a lot when you consider the Mad Men cast included Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and John Slattery, among many others.
It’s never easy to live up to your parents’ high expectations, especially when your mother is a demanding Jewish mom who wants to see her daughter succeed in everything. Brie majestically portrayed an exasperated Annie looking for a way out of a toxic mother-daughter relationship and its ironic consequences. Since her first appearance on the NBC/Yahoo! sitcom, the overachiever Annie conquered the fans’ hearts with her sweetness, underlined by Brie’s comedic timing.
Thanks to the character’s popularity, it’s hard to argue against the claim Annie is Brie’s most iconic role to date. The Dan Harmon-created show also starred Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, and Chevy Chase, among others.
Lally Weymouth in The Post (2017)
Based on a true story, The Post follows the Washington Post journalists who published the infamous Pentagon Papers. “Lally” Graham Weymouth is the daughter of the Washington Post publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep). It’s never easy to stand out when the movie features an ensemble cast, especially when — like in The Post‘s case — it stars some Hollywood royalty like Streep, Tom Hanks, and Bob Odenkirk, among others. Yet, Brie made the most out of her limited on-screen time.
Even though it’s undeniable Brie has a knack for comedy roles, the Hollywood-born actress displayed an excellent array of ideas when dealing with dramas, and The Post is one of the best examples. The Steven Spielberg-directed drama grossed $179.8 million, one of the best results in Brie’s career.
Ruth Wilder in GLOW (2017–2019)
In recent years, Brie caught the attention of fans and critics alike thanks to her portrayal of an aspiring pro-wrestler best known as “Zoya the Destroya.” Across three seasons, the Netflix series tells the story of the revolutionary Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a professional wrestling promotion whose cast featured primarily women looking to make it in the business. The series should have featured a fourth (and likely final) season, but the COVID-19 outbreak forced Netflix to cancel its plans.
It’s too bad fans won’t see the end of Ruth’s story because Brie gave it all for the role in an all-around entertainment performance. Her efforts were rewarded with back-to-back Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. The GLOW cast included Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Marc Maron, Britt Baron, and Kate Nash, among others.
Madison McPhee in Promising Young Women (2020)
The Emerald Fennell-directed thriller follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a woman who looks to avenge the death of her best friend following her suicide after being raped. Brie’s character in Promising Young Women is far from being likable and doesn’t inspire much sympathy, but it puts under the spotlight a much-common trait in people, blaming the victim.
While her on-screen time is relatively minor compared to Mulligan, Brie delivered a memorable performance during her character’s harsh confrontation with the protagonist in the infamous lunch scene where Madison got day drunk. In those few lines, Brie stressed the hypocrisy some people have toward the victims of sexual violence. The story won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.