TV is ahead of the curve with em­brac­ing new voices ... but we still have a long way to go

House Of Cards’ Rachel Bros­na­han, 27, won a host of gongs for play­ing the ti­tle role, Midge, in The Mar­velous Mrs. Maisel, about a 1950s house­wife who be­comes a stand-up comic. She tells GEOR­GIA HUMPHREYS about what to ex­pect in sea­son two

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You won a Golden Globe, Prime­time Emmy and Crit­ics’ Choice Tele­vi­sion award for your role in sea­son one of The Mar­velous Mrs. Maisel. How do you feel fol­low­ing the suc­cess?

WE WERE just not ex­pect­ing that!

I thought for some rea­son that my cat­e­gory (at the Em­mys) was af­ter I pre­sented, so I was very calm un­til they started do­ing my cat­e­gory, and I was like, ‘What the...?!’

It was to­tally over­whelm­ing in the most won­der­ful way.

Are you sur­prised at how warmly the show was re­ceived?

AB­SO­LUTELY. We live in an age of peak tele­vi­sion. There is so much good con­tent out there, there are so many shows out there that I love.

I imag­ine that any­one has to be pleas­antly sur­prised when some­thing breaks through.

How would you de­scribe your char­ac­ter, Midge? She feels very re­lat­able...

MIDGE is a woman who lives with joy, who lives with an in­nate sense of cu­rios­ity about the world and a de­sire to con­tinue to im­prove her­self within it.

The show is also about her rein­vent­ing her­self af­ter she al­ready thought she knew ex­actly who she was.

She hasn’t changed at the core but is find­ing out how to use her voice in a whole new way – that’s some­thing that feels par­tic­u­larly true of this time.

The pre­miere of the new se­ries is on lo­ca­tion. What was that like to film?

WE STARTED the sea­son in Paris, which was very strange be­cause New York is so cen­tral to the show. It was bril­liant, we spent three weeks there.

I can’t re­ally say what we were do­ing there or who was there ex­actly. But it was great, and I can’t wait for peo­ple to see that.

What about the ex­pe­ri­ence of shoot­ing on the streets of New York City?

IT’S so ex­cit­ing... I can’t be­lieve that peo­ple let us do this. New York­ers are not thrilled about it some­times. You can tell from watch­ing our show that Amy’s (writer Amy Sher­manPal­ladino) vi­sion is enor­mous. She loves big sin­gle shots, walk and talks, mov­ing through


What do you think makes Amy such a spe­cial writer?

SHE’S so smart. She so sharp. She’s a real cinephile; Amy loves movies, she loves sto­ry­telling and she’s well-stud­ied.Part of what makes her writ­ing so bril­liant is that ev­ery­thing is on the page. You can pic­ture the world so clearly from read­ing her writ­ing, and then she brings it to life so clearly with her di­rect­ing.

Would you say there are more op­por­tu­ni­ties for fe­male writ­ers in TV now?

TV IS ahead of the curve, in terms of em­brac­ing new voices and tak­ing risks.

But we have a very long way to go... to make the kinds of sto­ries we see in the me­dia re­flect the world we ac­tu­ally live in. So many sto­ries have yet to be told.

What about in Hol­ly­wood – are things im­prov­ing for fe­male writ­ers there?

IN THE con­text of how last­ing change is made, this mo­ment is still young. I think it will be a minute be­fore we start to see change ac­ti­vated.

In look­ing for fe­male di­rec­tors to work on The Mar­velous Mrs Maisel, we all came up with a lot of lists of amaz­ing fe­male di­rec­tors, many of whom were booked out for the next year, which is amaz­ing be­cause they are work­ing.

But there’s a big gap be­tween young women who are grad­u­at­ing from film school, want­ing to di­rect or write or pro­duce, and the ones who are ac­tu­ally able to cross that bridge.

What we re­ally have to fig­ure out is how can we lift up these new and emerg­ing voices, and give them the ex­pe­ri­ence they need to be able to keep work­ing on all dif­fer­ent kinds of sto­ries in the in­dus­try.

The Mar­velous Mrs. Maisel is avail­able on Ama­zon Prime Video now.

Rachel Bros­na­han on the red car­pet

Rachel as Midge in sea­son two of The Mar­velous Mrs. Maisel on Ama­zon Prime Video now

Rachel found TV fame in House Of Cards

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