Welcome to Marvelous Rachel Brosnahan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress Rachel Brosnahan. Rachel is more recently known for her role in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" where she plays the lead role character "Miriam 'Midge' Maisel". This site is online to show our support to the actress Rachel Brosnahan, as well as giving her fans a chance to find out about all the latest news and images. Enjoy your visit and please come by again soon.
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admin - Apr 17, 2023
Rachel Brosnahan Says Goodbye to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

It’s late fall 2022 and the cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is filming episode 509. That is, the final episode of the Emmy-winning series that stars Rachel Brosnahan as a Jewish housewife who reinvents her life after she discovers her calling doing stand-up. On this brisk late October day, aside from an increase in personal-photo taking between scenes and ear-marking props for parting gifts, it’s business as usual on the soundstage at Steiner Studios—Maisel’s home base—in Brooklyn.

Although Brosnahan is filming this last episode as Midge Maisel, she’s also doing scenes for episode 505. It could make a less experienced actor—or any actor, really—spin out from pressure and anxiety, but this is the Maisel life: fast-paced, unpredictable, and thrilling. Brosnahan wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We have a lot of work to do in two weeks, like a lot,” she says of this final episode, including those reshoots for other episodes. “The final script is 102 pages long, as of the last draft. So we have a lot to do, which I think is helping us all keep the tears at bay.”

As I sit in Brosnahan’s dressing room, she’s just finished a scene with her counterpart Alex Borstein, who plays talent manager Susie Myerson. It takes place in Myerson’s office, with Midge falling asleep on a nearby chair. In some ways it’s the perfect analogy for the last six years of Brosnahan’s life, starting with the moment she walked in to audition for a new Amy Sherman-Palladino comedy series. There’s been no time to sleep, no taking her foot off the pedal. While it hasn’t been the healthiest or easiest lifestyle to sustain, Brosnahan is thankful.

“We know that we’re breathing rarefied air, and we’re so lucky,” she says in between showing me some of the personalized wrap gifts she’s commissioned for the cast and crew. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I’ve lived in New York for 15 years, and the life of an actor is one that takes you here or there and everywhere if you’re lucky. But it’s also been so lucky to be able to live and work at home for the last six years. We know that this is lightning in a bottle.”

And so, ahead of the final season—the first three episodes of which drop on Friday, April 14—Brosnahan opens up for her first exit interview to discuss the lessons she’s learned from stepping into Midge’s shoes (and clothes), the early day on set that made an impact, and what it was like filming that last scene for the final episode.

Glamour: What have you learned about yourself over these last six years?

Rachel Brosnahan: It’s just reinforced that I fucking love this. I love what I get to do for a job, and I want to do it forever. I can’t see myself ever retiring. I’ll do it until I’m dead. They’re going to have to drag me off of center stage. Such a big part of loving this profession is loving the people. You sometimes spend more time with the people you work with than you do with your family, and so they become your family. And that can sometimes be really complicated, but it’s been incredible. I’ve also learned how to be a good leader from the best teachers, like Alex, Tony [Shalhoub], Marin [Hinkle], Amy and Dan [Palladino]. I’ve never been in this position before and have felt an immense amount of responsibility to our crew, to our cast, to anyone who comes onto this set, whether it be for a day or for multiple years.

Has it also made you more confident in what you’re capable of? The dialogue is so fast, and you have to be word-perfect.

It’s definitely taught me I can do things that I didn’t know I could. It was sink or swim, so I felt the pressure to do well and not let anyone down. Amy and Dan took a huge chance on me. They really didn’t have a lot of reason to believe—at least based on my résumé at the time—that I could do this. So it’s emotional to think about, but I’m so immensely grateful to them for taking a shot, for saying yes.

And you were so sick the day of your audition.

I was so sick. I don’t know what the fuck they were thinking. [Laughs.] But yeah, it’s definitely taught me to be less afraid. For many years I thought fear was a strength if you could be motivated by it. I suppose in some ways I still do because you’re never going to not be afraid, but you just can’t let fear crush you. I do feel more motivated than ever, perhaps by fear, but I also feel braver in the face of it. I’m less afraid of not being afraid. It can become easy to feel like the only way to be a good actor is to torture yourself. And there’s plenty of torture involved without trying very hard. I began to feel like fear was a superpower. It’s only a slight reframing of that thinking, which is that if you can keep finding ways to be brave in the face of fear, that’s a superpower. But it’s a daily battle, so I’m excited to take hopefully some newfound courage into whatever comes next.

That’s a perfect answer.

Had to borrow a bit from Midge. That’s what I’ve taken from her.

When you look back over the five seasons, what episodes or scenes or moments flash into your mind?

The show did a lot of traveling both inside and out of New York. There were so many iconic locations between Carnegie Hall and Coney Island. I think about 19th Street a lot. I have this really distinct memory of the first time we shot there. We were in the middle of a road on 19th Street time traveling to the 1960s. That was one of those surreal moments where I looked up and couldn’t believe I got to do this for a job. The show is such a love letter to New York, but it also became briefly a love letter to Paris and a love letter to Miami and to the Catskills of yore. And where else did we go?

Did you go to Vegas or was that a stand-in?

No, that was in Queens. Vegas in Queens. The Wolford is actually on one of our stages, but it felt like such an important part of the show’s scope. Those first couple sets where she did stand-up were so chaotic. Not only because Midge wasn’t a comic and was unrefined and having a prolonged mental breakdown onstage, but also because I had no idea what I was doing and was so petrified all the time and just trying not to fuck it up. I remember those early sets very, very clearly. And being in the Gaslight with Alex, who was always such an important part. Obviously, Susie’s such an important part of Midge’s journey, and Alex is such an important part of mine.

There is no one quite like Alex Borstein. You guys will always be one of the greatest onscreen duos.

Alex, not unlike Susie, always encouraged me to take my space and to make sure that I had what I needed because I was doing something hard. I’m so indebted to her for that as a comic, as someone who really knows how to do it. And then there’s the parts of that first season in particular where Midge became more confident and was actively searching for her voice but landing onstage on purpose a little bit more.

Midge and Susie say “tits up” before Midge performs. Is there a catchphrase or a piece of advice you tell yourself before you go onstage or do anything scary?

When I’m getting in my own way or feeling like I don’t have a grasp on something, I sometimes just tell myself to walk the plank. In my brain, I’m going, “Walk the plank. Step off.” And sort of relinquish control, I suppose.

And as someone who has always relished being in control, it’s so important to find it in yourself to let go and trust that if you’ve done your homework and you’re surrounded by all of these talented people and brilliant writing, something will happen and it’ll be great.

Midge is always so put together, which in many ways gives her confidence. How has her style inspired you?

Midge and I have very different senses of style, but Midge has definitely inspired me to have fun with fashion. Midge loves clothes, and Donna Zakowska, who designs all of Midge’s gorgeous clothes, loves clothes. Being around Donna and watching her work her magic for the last six years has definitely made me appreciate how much goes into beautiful clothes. They can be your armor if you need it on any given day—to push confidence from the outside in if you need that. They can be a way to have fun and be silly or a way to feel beautiful and to try someone else on for size. I’ve enjoyed that process in my own life more too.

Is this the last we’re going to see you in red nail polish for a while?

I’m going back to black. I’m a New Yorker, man. I’ve got to put some black nail polish on or nothing. I should probably let my nails recover from this. I don’t even know what’s underneath anymore.

Do you remember the first time somebody called you Midge outside of work? When you realized, Oh, people are associating me with this character?

Yeah, I was at a Pret in Midtown and sort of noticed someone staring a little bit but didn’t want to presume. I bought a sandwich, and as I left, a girl called after me and went, “Midge.” I didn’t know whether I should turn around or not. [Laughs.] She told me that she loved the show and loved watching it with her mom and that it had gotten her through her own breakup. It was the first time I really realized that the show could resonate with people on a deeper level, and that was pretty special and weird.

Will you still go out in public with zit cream on?

No, that I can’t do anymore.

Do you remember five years ago in your Glamour cover story, you told me you wear your zit cream out at the dog park?

I really have this knack for only being recognized when I leave the house and am just trying to hide. Those days when you’re like, “Nah, I didn’t wake up feeling cute this morning. I’m going to throw a hat on and it’s laundry day, some mismatched socks, and just pray that I don’t run into anyone I know.” It’s only then or when I’m leaving the gym when people are like, “Midge Maisel?” And I’m like, “Ugh, no. She’s back there.” [Laughs.]

What do you wish you could go back and tell 2016 Rachel?

I would tell her that it’s okay to sleep. That your brain could hold a lot of words at once. And tits up.

Walk the plank.

Yeah, walk the plank, girl. It’ll be okay.

How nervous were you opening up the final Maisel script? Did you get it at the table read or did you have it the night before?

We got it that morning. So I kind of read it really quickly in the car. I already knew how it ended. Amy told me on the first day of season five what the last scene would be.

Did you want her to tell you?

She told me because she thought it would help inform the scene we were shooting. The first thing we shot was the scene that opens the season, so she told me where it was going to end so that I knew approximately what the trajectory was. It was really interesting, and I’m sure it did help inform that first scene. So no, I wasn’t nervous at all opening the last script because I knew that it’s Amy’s script. Amy wrote the last one. I had no doubt whatsoever that Amy would nail it and land the plane exactly the way the show deserves. So no. Nervous, no. Excited and sad, yes. It was crazy to think that this would be the last one.

Now you’re going to make me cry. We have work to do. I can’t cry yet. We’ll have excuses to hang out. A lot of us are here in New York. Marin’s coming out to New York. Tony’s here. Caroline is here. Michael’s here. Amy and Dan are here.

How was it doing that final table read for the last script? Even though you already knew what was coming.

There was just certain points in the script that got us all differently. Alex, who never cracks, turned to me at some point and was kind of teary. That got me, and I was teary from there to the end. Tony got it at some point, and Marin was sobbing basically from the minute we started reading. And Michael [Zegen], I mean, it’s just that we know this is lightning in a bottle.

Have you asked for anything that you’re going to take with you?

I stole the horse out of Midge’s apartment because my parents came to visit the set and, for whatever reason, they loved the horse. They asked about what happened to all this stuff when the show was over. My dad sent me a picture of it later. So that’ll be their holiday present.

What are you going to take for yourself?

Well, I have been only half-joking that I’m going to bring a U-Haul for the last day of set and take all of Midge’s clothes. I’m not going to leave nothing. Amy and I are fighting over a painting in Midge’s apartment. She’s going to take that one, and I’m going to take a different one. Michael Zegen loves a cool tchotchke, so he has been encouraging me to steal small things since the first season. Michael and I stole poker chips from the Vegas set that had the fake hotel’s name on them. We stole paddle boards from the Steiner Resort in the Catskills. And there’s a bar, Toots Shor’s, that will play in this season, so we stole some coasters and an ashtray from there. But yeah, my parents are getting the horse that I’m not sure has ever actually been seen on camera. I didn’t even notice it was there. I’ve been in this house for six years. Never noticed the horse. So they’ll have a piece of the Maisel-Weissman household in their house forever. Meanwhile, I’m going to Sarah Jessica Parker these clothes.

What’s your earliest memory of the entire process, back when you first heard about the show?

I think it’s when I first got sent the pilot script before I auditioned for the show. I was in Vancouver with [my husband] Jason [Ralph] while he was working on The Magicians. It rained every day, and I was in the house with nothing to do. I watched all of Nurse Jackie starring Edie Falco. The show was incredible. She’s incredible. Around that time I got sent the script for Maisel. And if I’m not mistaken, Nurse Jackie was a comedy even though it had a lot of dramatic undertones. I remember thinking, This is tonally so interesting, this show. It’s really funny, but it’s fucking dark. When I read the pilot for Maisel, I was like, I love this. I think it’s just like Nurse Jackie. Because it’s not a laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s that her whole life is falling apart and all this dramatic stuff is happening to her, and she just has a really funny perspective on it. It doesn’t need to be “ha-ha” funny because I’m not a comedic actress. So I was like, “I think this I could do.”

I was fully approaching this like Shakespeare. I hesitate to say that, but I was approaching this as a full drama throughout the audition process, even as I prepped the pilot. Anyway, Amy had turned to me at some point and was like, “I’d really like you to try some stand-up.” I was like, “Oh no, no, no. You don’t want me to do that because if I do that, I won’t be able to come back and shoot the show. There’s a reason why the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy don’t perform surgery in preparation.” And she was like, “But what if I write it?” I was like, “I will be so traumatized. I will have to quit. I will never be able to shoot this show.” So she let me out of it.

I probably looked like I was going to cry and she called off the dogs, but Michael and I were shooting the scene where we break up, and he packs the suitcase and leaves. At some point Amy comes in. I was looking forward to this scene, because while a lot of it felt out of my depth and I was so terrified by so many of the comedic elements in the show, the breakup scene was my bread and butter.

But Amy came up to me at some point while we were shooting and she goes, “I think we’re finding something here. I just want you to remember this is a comedy.” When I tell you I went home and sat on my bathroom floor and cried…

Oh no.

I was like, “Who let me do this? Why am I here? Am I ending my career before it’s begun?”

So did you approach that scene differently then?

No. And the thing is, it was a dramatic moment in the story. I think she just wanted me to remember in the back of my brain somewhere that we want the audience to laugh. But I went home and had a complete heart attack. I remember calling a friend and saying, “Oh God, who thought this was a good idea? Why would they give me this part? How the fuck am I going to become a stand-up comedian on TV?” I guess that’s a long-winded way of saying the show is a comedy, and it is not a comedy like Nurse Jackie, and I didn’t know that for quite some time.

But you did it.

But we did it.

I remember you telling me that people told you for years that you weren’t funny, so I understand why you were so nervous.

I was told I wasn’t funny for so many years. I wasn’t insulted by it; I just took it as a sign that I should maybe pursue a different direction. I think the moral of the story is that if you’re surrounded by phenomenal talent and supported by great writing, anyone can be funny. But I’ve learned a lot.

That Emmy of yours will remind you that you are funny.

Every time I pee. [Editor’s note: Brosnahan’s Emmy and several awards are in her bathroom, some on the toilet ledge.]

Well, on that note, we’re done. Now let’s go eat.

I should say one more thing. You’re my first. You are the first person I’ve tried to talk to about the end. It will get easier, but the ultimate takeaway is that I’m very proud to have been a part of this and proud of us. This was hard, and we did it and it was fun and we became a family and we built that. So I think the real takeaway is just pride and gratitude.

You should be so proud of yourself.

I can do it. [Source]

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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Rachel as Miriam 'Midge' Maisel
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Set in the 1950s, Miriam "Midge" Maisel is a content wife and mother whose perfect life takes a sudden turn when she discovers an unknown talent -- stand-up comedy.
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