The 54th Super Bowl airs on Sunday, February 2, and while the big game is important, others get stoked to watch the infamous commercials just as eagerly. This year, there’s something extra special to look forward to when they air — Busy Philipps is going to play an astronaut in Olay’s spot during the broadcast. This matters, because despite the bro aesthetic of many Super Bowl parties, the reality is that 45% of NFL fans are women.
Philipps tells Allure that the message that men are the only valuable fans or participants extends far beyond the world of sports. “The message was clearly given to me was that as a woman in the entertainment industry, I was expendable,” she says. “[It felt] insurmountable, as if there was no way to make a change. That’s not true. We have valuable and strong voices.” That said, she isn’t playing an astronaut in the Olay Super Bowl ad for the hell of it. The skin-care brand’s Super Bowl commercial is inspired by the historic first-ever all-woman spacewalk, completed on October 18, 2019, by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, and means to pay homage to the women of STEM.
Ahead of the commercial’s television debut, Olay will be donating one dollar to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science, every time the #MakeSpaceForWomen hashtag is used starting Tuesday, January 14, through the end of the big game. “Part of the reason why I love working for Olay is that they really put an emphasis on representation and making sure that people are seen and met with strength and value,” Philipps says.
Philipps also mentioned a few fun facts from the set of the ad, including how there was a real astronaut on set during the filming. “I was like, ‘What happens when you get your period in space?’ And she didn’t really answer me,” Philipps laughs. She got to wear a spacesuit while shooting the commercial, and says, “There’s a lot of gear. I had to pace myself in terms of how much water I drank because it was really hard to get out of if you have to pee.”
All in all, it sounds like she had a great time on set, though some parts were difficult. “[Shooting the commercial was] fun, challenging, stressful, and sometimes claustrophobic. But overall, really, really fun. Millions and millions of people are going to see it. I’m really excited,” Philipps says. Make sure to tune in at your Super Bowl party, and don’t forget to tag your social media posts with #MakeSpaceForWomen to help support women in STEM. Watch the commercial here.
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