Golden Arm Star Betsy Sodaro on Arm Wrestling Comedy and Duncanville

The screwball sports comedy has been a rarity in recent years, with classics like Caddyshack (1980), Dodgeball (2004), and Kingpin (1996) helping to set that bar. Now the latest from Utopia Distribution comes an indie comedy of epic proportions diving into the world of women's arm wrestling in Golden Arm. The story follows a tough lady trucker Danny (Betsy Sodaro) trains her wimpy best friend Melanie (Mary Holland) to compete in the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship. I spoke with Sodaro about working with director Maureen Bharoocha, her co-star Holland, and what to look for in the upcoming season of her Fox animated comedy Duncanville.

Golden Arm Star Betsy Sodaro Talks Sports Comedy and Duncanville
Image courtesy of Utopia

"[Maureen] came to me five years ago and was like, 'Hey, I got to shoot a sizzle reel for a lady's arm wrestling movie,'" Sodaro said. "' Would you want to come and do that?' I'm like, 'Oh yeah,' because I've known Maureen for a long time. Anything she does, 'Yes, I'll do whatever. You're the best. We'll have fun.' So a couple of years later, she hit me up again about like a live table read for the movie. I was like, 'Oh yeah, of course, I would love to.' I read the script for that and was like, 'This is really fine.' The more and more it became like 'I think it's going to be made' Maureen approached me and asked, 'Would you want to be Danny, and could we attached you to her. [I was like] 'I would love to. The world is so fun. I think we would have a blast making this,' and we did. I'm just kind of cruising along waiting for Maureen like 'It's happening!'"

Golden Arm Star Betsy Sodaro Talks Sports Comedy and Duncanville
Image courtesy of Utopia

Sodaro and Holland's organic chemistry on set stems from their prior familiarity. "I worked with Mary for years," she said. "We have done a lot of improv together and other shoots and stuff, and so that was just kind of like immediate. I knew going in that this was going to be so much fun. I cannot wait. I think Mary is one of the most talented and funny people in the whole wide world. I was just very excited, 'Yes! Oh, my guys are going to make a movie together!' I had never worked with Olivia [Stambouliah], and as soon as we're like, we met, which I think might have been the first day on set. I was like, 'Oh, my God! She's great. This is going to be fun.' She was just so good and so intense; just everybody on set made it so easy. It felt wild how easy everything was for me personally. I'm like, 'Everybody so good. I kind of do my own thing, and it worked.' So it was very cool. It was special."

What makes Golden Arm special is not only is it a one-of-a-kind obscure sports comedy given the sport of choice, but also its all-female-driven nature. "I grew up loving those kinds of sports comedies and the buddy comedies," Sodaro said. "For me personally, I was like, 'Oh my goodness! I think we're making that. I think we're making one of those, but in our own voices and in our own unique style. That, if anything, just made me even more excited and more pumped every day. You know what? We're making the comedy for the comedy-obsessed from elementary school through college and now would want to watch. It felt really special and exciting, like every single day was just an absolute truth. I could not wait to keep shooting and make each other laugh."

Golden Arm Star Betsy Sodaro Talks Sports Comedy and Duncanville
Courtesy of Utopia

On Duncanville, Sodaro plays Bex, Duncan's (Amy Poehler) tomboy friend and modeled after the actress herself. Coming off the Poehler, Mike Scully, and Julie Thacker Scully-created series' successful first season, the actress said there's definitely more to come on the upcoming new season that premieres on May 23. "It's really funny, and I think it's getting a little bit…wilder, but in the sense of figuring itself out even more in the world of Duncanville, a little bit more. It is really funny, and the jokes are so solid. Every single meeting we had, even on Zoom, we would have to, like, take breaks because people were laughing so hard. I think it'll be fun. I'm very excited."

The Golden Arm, written by Ann Marie Allison and Jenna Milly, also stars Eugene Cordero (Star Trek: Lower Decks), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), Dawn Luebbe (Greener Grass), and Ron Funches (Final Space). The film comes to theatres and digital on April 30.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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