The series follows the team before, during, and after their attempt to make history by winning 3 World Cups in a row. While they don’t win the tournament, this story of dedication and hard work serves as inspiration to people all over the world.
GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos was joined by director and producer Rebecca Gitlitz to talk about the series.
“It was a whirlwind,” Gitlitz shares. “I am very committed to putting women’s sports and women’s athletes on the big stage.”
“I am so inspired by motivated, brilliant women,” Gitlitz says about the team. “I think this team has it all because you don’t understand the sacrifices on the field. You don’t understand what they’ve given up. You don’t understand the taxing mental physical energy that it takes to stay at this level.” She explains that three of the players, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Kelley O’Hara competed in four tournaments over the course of 12 years.
What’s interesting about the team’s dynamic is the players’ ages range from 18-38, so “you have people that are at prom and you have people that are bringing their kids to daycare and then to a game.”
Gitlitz talks about her admiration for queer sports icon Megan Rapinoe and what an honor it was too work with her. “There are so few people on this planet that sort of can dream big but then will it to happen. And she’s one of those people.”
She goes on to say, “I think that we should all say thank you to Megan Rapinoe for all that she’s given us. You know, I think she’ll continue to stand up for what she believes in and continue to not be afraid to speak the truth.”
About what she hopes audiences take away from the story, Gitlitz shares “I thought that the loss gave us an opportunity to tell a story that we weren’t necessarily going to be able to tell. This team is generations worth of change makers, and it will continue to be. And if you think that one loss in the quarterfinals defines them, then then you’re sorely mistaken.”
“We’ve forced the whole world to sort of catch up and realize that soccer and women’s athletics are something to pay attention to and so while this was a loss, it was actually a win in that the game is bigger and better than it’s ever been.”
“This was beyond my dream project. My whole mantra in life is bringing the margins to the mainstream,” she shares that she and her wife have both dedicated much of their careers to make change in the world of sports.
Under Pressure: The US Women’s World Cup Team is available on Netflix starting December 12th.