Rachel Brosnahan Interview: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
After playing Midge, the Ike-era Upper West Side housewife turned nightclub stand-up comic on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” for three seasons now, some of the character’s propulsive patter style has rubbed off the actress who plays her.
“I think I maybe talk a little faster in my real life,” says Rachel Brosnahan, who won an Emmy for the Amazon Prime comedy’s first season and just earned her third lead Emmy nomination for the role.”I’ve spent a few years playing Midge. But I really admire her confidence. I admire how willing she is to leap into a brand new situation. She doesn’t know how to do anything in life less than 150. And I definitely try to borrow a little piece of that into my own life for sure.”
Season 3 expanded her funny lady’s universe substantially as Midge is hired by crooner Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) as an opening act for his tour that includes stops in Las Vegas and Miami Beach. Before they hit the road, though, Midge performs at a USO before hundreds of Army guys laughing and cheering her on in a cavernous airplane hangar. It’s an experience far different from doing her act in mostly cramped nightclubs previously.
“It was crazy!” declares Brosnahan. “I felt like Bono.” She also admired the stamina of the actors who made up her audience. “You could feel how excited they were to be there. It was hot, they were in close quarters, they gave it for hour after hour after hour after hour.” She adds that it is a moment she will never forget.
The actress also talks about her instant connection with Alex Borstein, who has won two supporting-actress Emmys and is up for a third as Midge’s ever-loyal, often-grouchy manager Susie. The first time they met was at a chemistry read early in the casting process. Brosnahan was already hired when she and Borstein read once together. “We had this immediate and instant chemistry that I think works well for Susie and Midge. We are so different, but we love each other very, very much. ”
Brosnahan also addresses her Emmy submission episode, which happens to be the 10th and final episode — “A Jewish Girl Walks into the Apollo.” All does not go well for both Midge and Susie as it ends on a nail-biter of cliffhanger for “Maisel” fans. That’s especially true since production on Season 4 has been delayed because of the coronavirus virus pandemic. The good news is creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan Palladino are currently putting the pieces together for the next go-round.