PaleyFest 2019: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Cast Shares Insight into Female Characters

On Friday, March 15th, PaleyFest kicked off their week of programs and panels at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. PaleyFest is the ultimate fan experience for the biggest shows on television right now. For their opening night of the festival, Paley presented a panel featuring the stars of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Appearing in the panel was creator and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan Palladino, Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen and more. Moderating the panel was the hilarious Patton Oswalt.

The Amazon Prime show dives into what it would be like for a woman trying to make it as a stand-up comedian in the 1950s. With drama, amazing comedy and fashion we can only dream of, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel shows viewers to go after their dreams, no matter what the repercussions may be.

After a surprise '50s style dance from a large group of men and women, the panel began, and the actors and writers had the audience laughing from beginning to end. Oswalt began his questioning by asking Amy where her inspiration for the show came from. Amy shared that it was in her father whom she found Midge Maisel. “Him and his friends would sit around in the backyard and smoke cigarettes and make each other laugh and talk about the old days. It just felt like a world that was colorful and interesting and, in my mind, everyone was smart. And then I thought, ‘why don’t I do something like that?’ But I just turned my father, who was a 6 foot 4 Jew from the Bronx, into Rachel Brosnahan.”

When asked about how she plays Midge, Rachel Brosnahan shared that Midge’s breakdown is what makes her go up on stage and try out comedy: “It’s important that she isn’t a stand-up.” Jumping off of that, Amy stated, “to make the audience stick with her, they had to go through what Midge goes through. As she learns, the audience can learn.”

When asked about her character arc in season 2, Marin Hinkle shared that “what I think is so extraordinary is that I have this line where Midge says, ‘I missed you, mama’ and Rose says, ‘I’ve missed me too.’ To get to say a line like that—that’s a rare thing.”

After being asked about what Alex Borstein uses in her creation of Susie, she said, “there’s a lot of Amy in Susie, and I think there’s a lot of me in there. She’s also very much my grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor and fighter. She’s also my mother. I wanted her to exist in her own bubble, I don’t want her to conform to anything.”

Amy continued, by saying “Susie is a tough broad, but she’s absolutely terrified. The interesting part about the dynamic between these two women is that they’re there for each other—they are not going to get where they need to without each other.”

On a lighter note, the cast then went around and shared what they would like to see their characters doing in season 3. Rachel said she “would love to see Midge as part of the rebirth of feminism, and then joked, “I’d also like to see her drop acid. I think that’d be fun.” Alex said that “it’d be fun to see somebody bang Elvis.” Michael said that he would like to see Joel go to Woodstock, have the Beatles play at the club he wants to open up, and he would also “like for him to see Midge drop acid.” Kevin Pollack, who plays Moishe Maisel, said he would like to make soup for Kennedy and then steal an ashtray from the Whitehouse. Caroline Aaron, who plays Shirley Maisel, had a very poignant answer, saying that she would like to explore the Civil Rights movement and its effect on the Jewish community.

Girl power is at the forefront of this show, and it is in these strong women that viewers can find themselves. This night mirrored that sentiment, as we got to learn about the driving forces behind the women of the show. The entire panel was hilarious, and each cast member and writer made many jokes, creating a very fun and entertaining night. While we weren’t given any spoilers for next season, we still can’t wait to see where Midge’s journey will take us next.

Catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime now, and keep an eye out for season 3 coming later this year.