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how RACHEL BROS­NA­HAN be­came tv’s hottest prop­erty

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The Mar­velous Mrs Maisel, and the best of the stream­ing shows

The Mar­velous Mrs Maisel Genre: Com­edy Avail­able: Wed­nes­day 5 Dec Sea­son: 2 Episodes: 10 Runs: 50min (approx) TVSW says: An in­tel­li­gent com­edy with heart

RACHEL BROS­NA­HAN WAS wor­ried when she was cast in the first se­ries of The Mar­velous Mrs Maisel, Ama­zon Prime Video’s com­edy about a 1950s Amer­i­can house­wife who be­comes a stand-up co­me­dian.

Although the 27-year-old ac­tress had plenty of TV ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing a stint as ill-fated call girl Rachel Pos­ner in House of Cards, she had never done com­edy be­fore – and cer­tainly not stand-up.

‘I was so ter­ri­fied do­ing my au­di­tion that I think I blacked out for the whole process, and I haven’t stopped be­ing ter­ri­fied,’ she laughs. ‘But I was search­ing for some­thing that felt scary to me, and the com­edy world was un­fa­mil­iar.’

To re­search her role as ti­tle char­ac­ter Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel, Bros­na­han im­mersed herself in the work of Joan Rivers and Phyl­lis Diller and at­tended open-mic nights.

‘It was fun to dive in,’ she says. ‘Midge is based on a lot of fe­male comics, but also she’s in­spired by a few women that I have loved, in­clud­ing my grand­mother, who was bold and bril­liant.’

Bros­na­han’s re­search paid off hand­somely when the first se­ries won eight Em­mys, in­clud­ing Out­stand­ing

Com­edy Ac­tress for

Bros­na­han, who also picked up a Golden Globe.

The first sea­son saw

New York mother-of-two

Midge turn to stand-up af­ter her hus­band, Joel

(Michael Ze­gen), left her for his dim-wit­ted sec­re­tary.

Af­ter get­ting drunk in their lo­cal com­edy club and do­ing an im­promptu rou­tine based around her un­happy mar­riage, Midge set out on an un­likely ca­reer, as­sisted by her novice man­ager, Susie (Alex Borstein).

As the show re­turns for sea­son two, Chuck’s Zachary Levi joins the cast as a doc­tor, while Midge is try­ing to bal­ance life as a mother and a stand-up as she be­gins to get book­ings at big­ger venues.

‘She’s got a new level of con­fi­dence and she’s ex­cited,’ says Bros­na­han. ‘But there is a rip­ple ef­fect and this sea­son ex­plores how her fam­ily and friends are af­fected by this change in her life.’

Bros­na­han re­veals she shares some sim­i­lar­i­ties with Mrs Maisel.

‘I think we are both am­bi­tious, we are both re­silient, and we both see the glass half full,’ she says.

‘But I’m not as con­fi­dent as Midge, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to work.

‘She en­ters into this whole new field that she has no ex­pe­ri­ence in at all, and gen­uinely be­lieves that she can take it by storm. She never doubts it for a sin­gle sec­ond.’


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