Heels: Kelli Berglund & Alison Luff provide insight into the role women play

Heels - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz
Heels - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Thanks to a stellar cast and nearly-unanimous critical praise, Starz’s new Heels show is all the rage right now. We had the lucky chance to chat with the ladies of the show, Alison Luff and Kelli Berglund, who play Staci Spade and Crystal, respectively.

For those who have watched the first two episodes now available of Heels, you already know that Staci is Jack’s wife and Crystal is Ace’s valet and an aspiring wrestler herself. Staci also has dreams of returning to school and getting back into the workforce. Part of what makes Heels such a compelling drama is that the characters are complex and layered. The women get their own rich stories that run alongside the drama within the DWL.

During the Starz press day, Show Snob participated in a roundtable with Alison and Kelli. We got to ask these talented ladies about their work on the series and how they feel about their character arcs.

Heels show: Discussing Staci & Crystal with stars Alison Luff & Kelli Berglund

Show Snob: I enjoy the show because Crystal and Staci are the touchstones of Jack and Ace’s lives. If you could advise the other’s character, what would it be? So what would Crystal advise Staci, and what would Staci advise Crystal?

Alison Luff: What’s cool about this series and the women in this series is we really follow four different women at four different stages in their life. There is Crystal, the young one, Staci, the young mom, Willie, who is a mom to a teenage daughter, and then there is Carol, who is the matriarch of the Spade family.

Season 1 of Heels is available now on Starz, subscribe today.

I think Staci would probably tell Crystal to prioritize herself because I think that’s something she’s learning. To prioritize herself to take care of her family and spouse and hold him accountable, it’s that famous lesson of, “take care of yourself so you can take care of other people.”

Kelli Berglund: I think Crystal has a lot to learn from Staci. I don’t know if there is ever a world where Crystal is sitting down with Staci and giving her a long monologue of advice, but what I was going to say runs along the same lines of you have a dream, you’re amazing, prioritize that, because I’m learning how to do it and I think women at all stages in this show can take a piece from that and learn from that.

Like I want to watch you as a fellow woman related to this world thrive and do what you want to do, and this world is very intense and rough and heavy, but you matter just as much as these guys do.

Alison: Aw, thanks, girl! [Laughs]

Heels show
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Show Snob: Kelli, I love Crystal’s character, and I’m rooting for her to get in the ring as a wrestler. Even though she’s often disrespected and Ace doesn’t always treat her the best, what do you think is her driving factor? What keeps her coming back to the DWL every day?

Kelli: It’s just her dream and her passion. She grew up watching matches at the Duffy Dome and obviously fell in love with it so much that she wants to be a part of it even though she is shut out all the time and is the only girl there representing. Somehow she still keeps coming back with all the treatment she’s getting from these people.

MORE: Stephen Amell & Alexander Ludwig chat about their roles on Heels

But she sees herself beyond this place, and she really really cares about the people, especially Ace. She cares about the league so much that she’s willing to stick around for it and prove her worth and prove that she’s got the ability to do it.

I like to say that Crystal has this very quiet resilience throughout the show that we see more and more as each episode goes on, and that’s why you root for her so hard because she starts in this place where you’re like, dang! you really feel bad for her, but to watch her begin to thrive and flourish as herself and Crystal and not just Ace’s valet is really rewarding not just to me and my character but also to the audience

Heels show
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Show Snob: Alison, I wanted to talk a little bit about one specific scene where Staci gets fed up with Jack not tending to stuff around the house and is like, “I’m just going to do this myself.” What do you think the breaking point was for her and her mindset in that scene?

Alison: That was one of my favorite episodes to film, and I love that aspect. It’s that chance that how many times are you going to tell your partner, and it’s a real-life thing that happens in any marriage, any relationship, it’s that, “I’m going to state my needs, my family’s needs, and I’m going to give you the opportunity to do something with that information and if I don’t feel like I’m being heard over and over again then I’m going to take matters into my hands because I can.”

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But it’s also a favor to Jack, I think, in a way. If you pay attention really closely, you hear it when Jack is selling the lawnmower to a customer, he has this emotional attachment to mowing the lawn with his father, and I know there is a lot of unsolved trauma with his father.

So although yes, she is fed up and is taking matters into her own hands, it is a way of also being there for her husband and realizing maybe there is more to moving the lawn than just doing a chore.

Next. Heels STARZ: 5 reasons to watch the show. dark

Are you all caught up on the new Heels show on Starz? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

New episodes of the Heels show air Sunday nights on Starz.