I added scans from the May issue of Good Housekeeping & Issue #23 of Darling to the gallery. I also added new photos of Rachel at PaleyFest. Check out the links below.
I added scans from the May issue of Good Housekeeping & Issue #23 of Darling to the gallery. I also added new photos of Rachel at PaleyFest. Check out the links below.
Rachel recently sat down with Variety to discuss her show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Read the article below.
Like the character she plays on Amazon’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Rachel Brosnahan has proved herself to have hidden talents. Previously known for her dramatic work on series like “House of Cards” and “Manhattan,” Brosnahan is showing off a deft gift for comedy as the ’50s-era housewife-turned-standup. That’s what earned her a Golden Globe trophy as best actress in a comedy for the first season (as well as a series prize), and made her a frontrunner in the Emmy race.
During a break in production on season two, she talks with Variety about why a period piece is relevant today, being told she “wasn’t funny” — and the surprising injury she sustained on set.
For a show that’s set in the 50s, it feels so relevant now. What is it about that showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino are doing that makes the show feel so timely?
I think that the scenes surrounding some of the battles that women faced then are still very relevant today. And then women being considered secondary citizens or this idea of women not being funny or having to fit a certain mold and apologize for their ambitions. Those are all things that women still face today and I think that those ideas have never not been relevant and Amy and Dan have managed to bring them to life with a fresh eye. But also, the story at its core is about a woman finding the voice that she didn’t know she had. And that’s also something that’s happening all over the country and all over the world, right now.
I was just reading an interview where you were saying that you were once told that you weren’t funny.
This is gonna be the thing that ends up on my tombstone, “Was once told, not funny.”
Thank you, Internet.
I don’t know how to say this in a way that totally makes sense, but it became something that was just understood. When you’re really young and you’re figuring out who you are and what your strengths are, the feedback that was given regarding my auditions, enough times, was kind of “She’s just not funny. Not really for sitcoms.” And so I guess I mostly stopped going into that stuff and focused on other strengths. And so when the show came across my desk, I was very nervous about the idea of even approaching comedy. Because I felt like that was something that I’d internalized, but not in a negative way. But now I’m kicking myself for limiting myself in that way earlier. Because this has been such a fulfilling, learning process and an important one.
I do think it took someone visionary to look at you and your body of work and be like, “Yes, she’s perfect for this and yes, she can do this.” Do you feel that?
I don’t know what they were thinking. But, yes, it was a leap for sure and one that I’m eternally grateful that all the powers involved took.
Are there things you didn’t get to do in the first season that you want to do in the second?
Something I’m looking forward to exploring more in the second season is the tension between Midge’s three very distinct and different worlds. She’s a mother and a daughter and a, possibly, wife/ex-wife, as it left off in the first season. She’s a working woman now. She has a job that she loves and she’s also a budding stand-up and none of those worlds really gel together. Though I’m looking forward to watching her try to balance and I think that the more invested she becomes in each of the three, particularly the work and the stand-up, the harder that juggling will become. I’m looking forward to seeing how that unfolds.
What have you learned from the experience of making the first season?
I feel like I learned to be braver in the first season than maybe I’ve ever felt. Midge is an extremely empowered and confident and pretty fearless woman and finding that on a daily basis is not always easy. And I feel like, hopefully, I’ve absorbed some of those things myself, moving into season two. There’s both less and more pressure going into season two, right? We know what it is, we’re so grateful that people responded to the show but also now we want to make sure that this season’s even better than the last one.
Do you feel that pressure?
A little bit, but it’s motivating. It’s a nice kind of pressure. The pressure that only comes from feeling that people responded to the art that we’re putting out into the world. And though we don’t want to let them down, but we also don’t wanna let ourselves down and I feel good about what we’ve done so far and we’re excited to keep pushing those boundaries.
Now that the showrunners have seen what you can do, is more coming?
I’m sure it’s going to get more challenging in ways that I couldn’t possibly imagine, in some of the weirdest ways. I’ve already sustained an injury from an unexpected stunt.
Well, I can’t say much without giving everything away but it involved a rolling chair and some choreography. Took a little tumble, so I’m learning new skills. Again without giving anything away, we finished last season and I got this text from Amy going “Can you ride a bike?” And heard that [co-star] Marin [Hinkle] got a text from Amy going, “Can you speak French?” So they’re definitely going to keep challenging us in season two. I’m thinking they just like to watch us suffer a little bit.
You just mentioned you were just at a costume fitting. How much does that inform the show? Does that help you get into character?
Enormously. But the ability to transform so completely with costumes and hair and makeup makes my job easier. There’s less pretending involved. I can look in the mirror and see someone very different from myself and those are my favorite kind of characters, the ones that feel furthest from me. Midge’s outward appearance is very important to her and I think that it’s something the attention paid to her appearance and the way she is presenting herself to the world is part of what makes her feel empowered. So the costumes are huge and Donna Zakowska, our costume designer, is absolutely brilliant and her attention to detail continues to astound me. The creations and the places that she looks for inspiration, I’m blown away every time I step foot in the new fittings.
The awards consideration, the fact that you’re getting all this buzz, what does all that mean to you?
It’s such a lovely feeling to know that everybody’s hard work and literal blood, sweat and tears has been recognized. The awards stuff is great but actually feels less important than the fact that it feels like the show has touched such a wide variety of people. That’s what makes us feel the best. And awards stuff is great because it means that, hopefully, we get to keep going. That we get to have a job for a little bit longer and a job we love, at that. And it’s obviously an honor but the coolest part has been to hear from young women, especially, but also older men who couldn’t say that they were essentially coerced into watching the show by their wives or daughters and have fallen in love with it, as well. It’s nice to know that people love it as much as we do. That feels like the greatest reward.
Are you recognized more because of this role?
In New York, that’s not as much of a thing as it is in say, Los Angeles, so if people are recognizing me, I may not always know it. But I also look very different in my real life when I’m walking the dog up in Harlem, you know? So it’s not been something that feels like an enormous shift. The question I keep getting asked is, “How has your life changed?” And it feels like that’s a funny question because at the core, I feel like it hasn’t. But strangers can say my last name now, which has been very exciting. That’s never happened to me before.
Is there a moment you’re proudest of when you look back over the first season?
There’s a set in episode seven. It’s been fondly referred to as the epic take-down of Sophie Lennon and that set, in discussions with Amy and Dan was kind of being talked about as a place where Midge really comes into her own as a comedian. Really is able to combine her impulsiveness and her stream of consciousness style with a more polished understanding of what it means to, say, interact with an audience or to have certain pieces prepared and then she naturally goes off the rails. But i was the first time where I noticed I felt more comfortable stepping onto the stage and I was able to kind of clock how much I had learned about the more technical side of doing this form of comedy. I remember looking out at the audience and feeling, so distinctly, like we were in it together and it was the first time I really went into one feeling like it was gonna be okay. It was a place where I really felt that parallel journey between Midge and myself. And it was a very cool moment.
Is there one moment where you feel like you really owned this, that the part really became you?
No. But I think if I ever really reach that point, I’m not working hard enough.
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’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.
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
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.
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.