Allison Tolman Talks Fame, Internet Trolls and Making Real Change for Women
Fargo’s Allison Tolman continues her march straight into our hearts. After her near instantaneous jolt to fame last year, the actress jumped right into the internet troll fray, gracefully dealing with idiots as she champions the right of women to be themselves. In every interview, with every sound bite and Twitter snippet, this gorgeous human being has made us cheer — and fall in love.
Speaking with Time, Tolman addressed her newfound interwebical perils, and tempering her own urges to get down in the mud with those nasty trolls.
On following her own social media rise:
“It was so new and so exciting that I wanted to know what everyone was saying. I read the Fargo hashtag and what people Tweeted at me and every article and every comment on every article. I really just ate it up. But I wasn’t prepared for hearing what everybody thought of me.”
Truly, we’re all just one step away from becoming Trolly McTrollster; on stepping away from the comments:
“I feel like 60% of people become a**holes as soon as they get behind a keyboard. So I had to learn not to read the comments because I’d inevitably come across something nasty somebody said about me, and it’s difficult not to let that be hurtful. So by the end of the show, I wasn’t reading as much as at the beginning because I got burned a few times.
But then the problem is I want to say something back. I’m like, ‘You make it so easy. I’m so much smarter and funnier than you are, troll.’ But that doesn’t end up making you feel better. So that’s my problem, I read these things and could fall into a hole where I sass back every a**hole that I come across, but it would take up all my time and I’d rather be making television and movies.”
The relatable reality of Fargo’s Molly Solverson:
“…I also think having me in that role as someone who doesn’t look like most other actresses and other ingenues helped. Our TV and movie cops are usually in heels and pencil skirts. It’s not a super realistic view, especially for a small town in Minnesota. So I think that people enjoyed seeing someone where they could be like, “Oh I know that woman. That’s my big sister or someone I went to college with or a friend of mine.” I think that people found that comforting. I certainly know that I would if I were watching that.”
Tolman’s pick for another series with relatable women, and what she gets picked on for all the time:
“I think The Mindy Project does a really good job showing a more diverse world where women are different shapes and different colors, and that looks more like a world I understand. I hate to always bring it back to weight, but that’s an issue that’s near and dear to me because that’s an issue I get picked on for all the time now that I’m on television. Any time I see an actress that’s over a certain size that we’re used to seeing on television, I think, wow not only is that really fantastic but unfortunately that means that somebody made a really brave choice by casting that woman in that role. I wish we didn’t live in a world where that was such a great thing.
…these women on these television shows that are bigger than other actresses are like a size 8. It’s so absurd. But I appreciate it because I think that’s what we should be showing not just to our young women but also to our young men. Unfortunately how we shape our worldview is what we see in pop culture, so we need to be presenting a little more realistic view of how the world works so people don’t have such a hard go of it when they get into the real world.”
Who can help change perceptions; F-word warning!
“I think more women, or at least more feminists both male and female, working in positions where they’re writing or producing or show-running would be helpful—people actively looking for these things. I think the only way to actually change the overall way we perceive things is to flood the market with as many diverse men and women as we possibly can.”
Her friends’ nerdy fame-tracking chart:
“One of my best friends from college is a librarian, and she started tracking after each interview how many Twitter followers I got. She and her librarian friends were like, ‘We’re going to make a graph.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, nerds.’ But apparently somewhere there is a graph showing when my popularity increased and why.”
Do yourself a favor and go read the whole interview; this smart, beautiful, sassy woman is going places, and you don’t want to be left behind. And Hollywood, get this woman her own series, stat!
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