Amy Sherman-Palladino interview: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
Amy Sherman-Palladino has had creative success with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” which few would dare dream about. Over the course of the Amazon series, Sherman-Palladino has won six Emmy Awards for writing, directing, producing, and music supervision, and she’s also received four Directors Guild Award nominations. This year, Sherman-Palladino is nominated again at the DGA Awards for her work on the Season 4 finale, “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?”
So when she says that her favorite scene of her career happened in the finale, it pays to take notice. “The whole season was challenging because it was COVID. And you are just trying to keep people from dropping dead in the streets,” Sherman-Palladino says in an exclusive video interview with Gold Derby as part of the Meet the Experts: Directors panel. “Our show is a big show. It’s an outside show. We are in New York and the city is so much a part of who we are. My biggest fear was that it was going to feel like a very interior show – it was going to feel a little claustrophobic.”
But from that adversity came a major highlight: a final moment between Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) that paid off years of relationship building. After Midge and Lenny consummated their flirtatious relationship earlier in the finale, the pair wind up on stage inside an empty Carnegie Hall. It’s there when Lenny calls out Midge and urges her to take the leap forward her career desperately deserves.
“It was a tour-de-force of acting,” Sherman-Palladino says. “We had built to this moment over the four years. They’re coming in and out of each others’ lives and being supporters of each other and being muses for each other, in a sense. So for this clash to happen – the last person in the world that Midge would ever think would take her to task is taking her to task and he’s right. It was a very fulfilling moment. Because it’s something that we knew was going to happen from the first weeks of sitting in the writers’ room breaking out stories…. There are moments in people’s lives, especially in show business, where if you do not grab them, they are gone. They are not coming back. That one moment that you thought you might get another shot at it, you are not getting another shot at it. So I’m just very pleased that it turned out exactly the way I was hoping in my heart.”
Sherman-Palladino has directed episodes of her television series for years and has the awards acclaim with “Mrs. Maisel” to make her one of the top directors in the field. When asked if she’s gotten better at directing the show now as compared to even Season 1, Sherman-Palladino deadpans, “No, I was born perfect.”
Kidding aside, she says something has dawned on her about directing over the years. “If you have material you believe in, if you have a story that you believe in, if you can remember why you fell in love with this at the moment, and then you’re handed the gifts of Rachel Brosnahan, Luke Kirby, Alex Borstein, Marin Hinkle, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Zegen, Caroline Aaron, Kevin Pollack – you’re an a–hole to not let them take your art, and then make it something that is so much bigger and better than you could have imagined,” she says. “That’s a lesson that I think I have learned.”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is streaming on Amazon.