Category: Television

Press: Kristen Bell, Frankie Shaw, Rachel Brosnahan Embrace Complicated TV Roles

Rachel was featured in a new Variety article. Below is an excerpt of her part.

“People are inspired by a woman finding her voice…”
Rachel Brosnahan

Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge Maisel, the centerpiece of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” is perhaps the most upbeat progressive fighter on television. Even if the aspirational stand-up comic is battling to make it in the intensely conservative Eisenhower era.

“A woman breaking into comedy in the 1950s was about the biggest way to give the middle finger to any kind of gender norm or expectation, I think,” Brosnahan says. “Maybe not the biggest, but certainly one of them. She’s starting to notice a lot of gender disparity. She’s starting to become aware of some of the unrealistic expectations that are placed on women, or and were placed on women, and some of the hypocrisy in the expectations surrounding men and women and their roles in society.”

A Golden Globe winner in January, Brosnahan has discovered that, for many, in this #MeToo era, Midge’s journey been something of an inspiration.

“I think one of the things that I’m hearing a lot is that people are inspired by a woman finding her voice anew, finding a voice that she didn’t know she had, at a point in her life where she felt like she had already established who she was and what she wanted and set a goal for herself and reached it,” Brosnahan says. “Everything fell apart and she rose from the ashes and found a new passion, and a new path. Something that is largely right now a part of the national conversation as well. It’s taken on new meaning since after we created the show.”

Read the full article here.

Press: Rachel Brosnahan infuses her ‘Mrs. Maisel’ with fearlessness, even when it’s misguided

Press: Rachel Brosnahan infuses her ‘Mrs. Maisel’ with fearlessness, even when it’s misguided

Rachel Brosnahan, the Golden Globe-winning lead actress of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” has a good strategy when it comes to judging her own work, and it’s maybe not that unique but somehow Brosnahan’s naturally self-deprecating demeanor makes it sound refreshingly blunt.

“I don’t think you ever know that something works until you’ve seen it cut together. Personally, I’m not sure I ever leave a scene being like, ‘Nailed it.’ That’s just not really how I go,” Brosnahan says. “I mostly leave scenes like, ‘I’ve ended my whole career. I’ll never work again.’”

That perspective makes a lot of sense since the 27-year-old considered herself strictly a dramatic actress, having appeared in films such as “Beautiful Creatures” and a memorable, Emmy-nominated run on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” before landing the role in Amazon Prime’s breakout comedy program.

“One of the things that people say all the time, that working on a film set is a lot of hurry up and wait … we don’t do so much of that on this show,” the actress says while on a break early this spring at the London West Hollywood. “We really just go. We go and go and go, and so it helps keep up the pace and the energy of the show on-screen too. We talk faster than most people talk. To fill an hour of television, there are about 15 more pages of dialogue.”

In Amy Sherman-Palladino’s critically acclaimed series, Brosnahan plays Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a seemingly content late-1950s New York City housewife who, much to the dismay of her philandering husband (Michael Zegen) and parents (Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle), discovers she has an unexpected talent for stand-up comedy.

Her exploration of this gift inevitably leads to a series of career ups and downs. One memorable scene finds Brosnahan impressively depicting a terribly botched set thanks to the stomach-churning horror of Midge’s cockiness and her decision to ignore the advice of her manager (Alex Borstein).

“I’ve got no experience with stand-up at all, and fortunately, that’s a parallel journey with Midge,” Brosnahan says. “Maybe she starts out as a funnier woman than I am naturally, but Midge is not a comedian when you meet her, and so the time she bombs, she’s still not a stand-up. And that’s why she bombs. She hasn’t practiced. She doesn’t have a set. She’s just talking.”

Because the stand-up scenes were so important to the show, they were purposely filmed at the beginning of each episode’s production cycle. This one in particular began filming at 6 a.m. and Brosnahan notes she needed a little bit of help to calm her nerves.

“It was not the greatest idea I ever had, but you know when you’re really drunk and you can taste alcohol in your mouth, even when you’re not drinking? I was taking just teeny, teeny, tiny sips of wine out of a cup while we were shooting. I mean teeny sips, just to get that taste in my mouth,” she recalls. “But after enough takes and enough teeny sips, I was like — I was not even close to drunk, not buzzed, either, just to clarify — more like, ‘Bleh, it was too early to start drinking wine.’”

“All I remember is Alex Borstein going, ‘Don’t … it up,’ but I’m pretty sure she said that before every stand-up scene, so I’m not sure that one was unique.”
– Rachel Brosnahan

She adds, “All I remember is Alex Borstein going, ‘Don’t … it up,’ but I’m pretty sure she said that before every stand-up scene, so I’m not sure that one was unique.”

Consequently, one of the most compelling aspects of Midge’s character is how Sherman-Palladino and Brosnahan have crafted her fearlessness. While those around her question her choices, for the most part, she moves forward with a fearlessness that is wonderfully self-assured.

“Some of that comes from a naive place, some of that comes from a sheltered and privileged place, and some of that’s something you’re born with,” Brosnahan says. “She’s not a passive player, but she is reacting to all kinds of new stimulus, to ideas and people and places and things that she doesn’t understand, and that’s what fuels her stand-up.”

There were many women forging their own path during this period, but few in comedy and few from the picture-perfect world Midge’s family has crafted in upper-middle-class Manhattan.

“You didn’t see women being autonomous, or outwardly ambitious, openly ambitious,” she notes. “That wasn’t socially acceptable, and that’s maybe her biggest act of resistance.”

Source: LA Times

Press: WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Radio Interview

Rachel recently sat down for the WBZE 91.5 radio show WTF with Marc Maron to discuss her acting career, and what it’s been like playing a stand up comic on the Amazon hit show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.


(Click the bar on the left to start if you do not see a play icon.)

Rachel Brosnahan related to the pressures and insecurities of standup comics when she got the lead role of a 1950s standup in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. That’s because she feels constant dread as an actor, going from project to project, always worried it’s not going to go well. Rachel compares notes with Marc about being a standup vs. being an actor, learning the craft in school vs. learning on the job, and why working on episodic television may be the best training for actors.

Source: WBEZ

Press: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Renewed for Season Three by Amazon

Amy Sherman-Palladino got her wish. Amazon has renewed “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” for a third season.

The creator-executive producer of “Mrs. Maisel” prodded Amazon executives about a pickup on Saturday night as she accepted a Peabody Award for her 1950s-set dramedy about an Upper West Side housewife who ventures into standup comedy after her picture-perfect marriage falls apart.

“You’re going to give it to us because we’re bringing home the fancy thing, right?” Sherman-Palladino said of the Peabody win for the show’s freshman season.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, who attended the ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street, confirmed after the kudos concluded that “Mrs. Maisel” would indeed get a greenlight for a third season. “Mrs. Maisel” was initially ordered by the previous Amazon regime with a two season commitment spread across 18 episodes. Season 3 will likely get 10 installments.

Season 1 of “Mrs. Maisel” bowed in late November. Season 2 is set to premiere later this year.

“Mrs. Maisel” also bagged two Golden Globes in January for comedy series and lead comedy actress for star Rachel Brosnahan. With the Globes and Peabody win, the show is seen as a prime contender in the upcoming Emmy race.

Sherman-Palladino made her mark as the creator and showrunner of “Gilmore Girls,” the much-praised drama starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel that ran on the WB Network and CW from 2000 through 2007. Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino produced four sequel episodes of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” that premiered on Netflix in November 2016.

Source: Variety

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