Rachel Brosnahan


Hey guys guys here with another episode of the sunday. Sit down podcasts. My thanks as always clicking and listening to long. I am particularly excited about this today. Tell you why not. Just because we have a great guests for you. Rachel brosnahan star of the marvelous. Mrs maisel where she plays the lead character of course for what she has won two golden globes and an emmy award a show just about everyone loves. And if you haven't seen it other people in your life are harassing you to see it and you really need to do that. So that's number one number two though is that we got together and did this interview in person as you guys know from listening to these since well march. I guess early march. We've been almost exclusively with a couple of exceptions on zoom. And they're great. And i always am grateful for the time that we have together a loses a little bit in intimacy end sound quality and everything else so when you get a chance to get together and rachel was kind enough to say yeah. Let's do it. We're both in new york so we met at. Pj clark's great burger place. If you don't know about it lincoln center and we were. It was the two of us we had a tape measure of between as before we sat down. We're seven feet apart. We gave it an extra foot and just a small crew and it was pretty down dirty and we just got together and sat down in this burger place and we talked about her incredible new movie called. I'm your woman which is going to have a lot of people talking. i promise. It's really her first. Big starring movie role and. She's really good in it. And she's a producer on the film as well so we talk about the movie we talk about as she's getting ready now within a matter of days now to go out and shoot the next season. Yes there's more marvelous. Mrs maisel coming What else can i tell you. I didn't know rachel beforehand. A lot of times and i've gotten to know a lot of these people over the years We just met in. That burger joint. And i was so thrilled that she would come. And sit with me. Seven feet apart and Sit down and talk about her career and her life and something. she doesn't do a lotta. she told me she doesn't do many profiles. She told me after she said. I don't do these. I became an actor. So i didn't have to talk about myself so that i can always be somebody else. So hopefully you enjoy a rare conversation with an incredibly talented and generous actress. Rachel brosnahan right now on the sunday. Sit down podcast. Rachel great to see thanks doing this. This is a little odd. Just say it right. I was gonna say romantic but yes a little bit. I told you read before we sat down. We literally had detained measure out so we could have seven full feet between us which is kind of where we are. I mean over achieving. I appreciate for you. We add the extra foot day. Lester you needed seven feet. So what speaking of what of the last nine or ten months ben like for you as we've all been staying at home trying to keep ourselves busy you're going to go into production with mrs maisel soon. Been like strange strange for everyone. You know being here in new york. It was scary early on and And as you said everyone's been looking for ways to save busy in our in our industry to stay creative. And i feel really lucky that we had a number of projects in post production in development so thankful for this time to catch up and an amazing artists zoom so much zooming happening last couple of months but we were actually in post production for. I'm your woman when we when when all of this started so. It was a lot of a lot of virtual. Editing and viewing of the film and eighty are in my office with some quilt sin. It was strange. But i think people would be shocked to hear even at that level like a big hollywood movie. It's just you closet with some blankets. Absolutely it closet with some blankets trying to figure out the instructions on this box. They kind of looks like a bomb. You know it's it's all. Glamour is very glamour. I understand you took up. A lot of us have been binging took up survivor. the reality show. Yeah just catching on it. Well or watch was okay. Good i was. We're that nerdy. Yeah it was a re. We watch the second pass. Would you pick up on a second. Viewing rachel that you missed the you know a game play. I feel like. I've been thinking a lot about strategy. No it was just. It was such a good escape. Really nice escaping. It was the thing where at the start of it you know. We went down in a in a pod with with two friends who were with us when we all found out that the world was shutting down and we all went down together and we were looking for something to keep us occupied and there are forty seasons of survivors so we knew that likely no matter how long this went on we'd covered. And that's that's really yeah. I also think everything excused right now like people are like whatever you need to do to get through if you wanna watch survivor twice. God bless i'll be exactly the same. Whatever gets you through. Is it gratifying. In some way to know how many people have been watching the marvelous. Mrs maisel during this time that i mean it's it's one that keeps coming up. People said what you do in court either watching for the first time all three seasons. Or i'm watching it. Yeah it's been so nice to hear that made people laugh and brought people joy during a time when sometimes both of those things have been really hard to come by heard. A lot of stories from people are reaching out saying then finding the show. We're watching the show again. Got them through a hard time. And i'm grateful to have been able to be a part of something that helps people escape for a minute. Yeah we'll talk more about that. But i'm super interested talking about i'm your woman because i told you i watched it yesterday and it's so so good i promise joe wouldn't jinx you but i just have a sense that people are gonna be talking about this for a while your performance as jean. What grabbed you about the story. And what grabbed you about the character. I was so moved by jeans. Journey through motherhood this unexpected johnny towards motherhood without doing two inch way And her struggles with it. And also that gene is an ordinary woman by by most counts and ordinary woman of the seventies. Who's been thrust into these extraordinary circumstances. And and i appreciate stories that recognize the usually non linear journeys towards growth of ordinary women. Not everyone comes out of the womb wanting to change the world. And i'm grateful that a woman like gene has been centered in this genre that so traditionally male dominated and that's our director julia hart. Who's interested in in swinging the lens on a character who who often lives on the fringes of these films but who's definitely there and has had an experience as well. I like the way julia described as you said. I wanted to know what happened. Diane in the godfather wants the door closed. And you could say that about sharon stone in casino or lease going round. Tell us exactly exactly so without giving away too much of the story. Kind of set up the action to the extent. You can yeah. It's hard because everything give something away but we meet gene who is a fairly traditional nineteen seventies housewife Her husband eddie. Who we come to learn is a criminal. Gene finds herself unexpectedly on the run with her. Young child and Fighting for their survival and they need a family. can't they meet a family. Who helps them on their journey and who becomes somewhat of a chosen family for them through this story. So do you guys little car chases. I know. i'm trying to think of a question that does not have spoiler embedded so we'll let it go but just about her specifically what did you. What did you see in her. Because i know you pick these characters very carefully. You have a nice luxury of doing that. Obviously midges another one of them. But what did you see in her. They said okay. That's worth the investment of time and effort. Well they said. I was so interested in her in this quiet woman who felt so alone in her experience. Who felt alone in this experience of finding out that she couldn't have child who was dealing with. Ptsd when the movie opens and and it feels so different. From some of the roles. I've had the privilege of play over the last couple of years. This is a woman who who leaves primarily silence who chooses her words incredibly carefully who is lost inside her head for for a great deal of this film and certainly the pieces that we you know. The seems that we don't see her in. Yeah it it just felt like i felt like i didn't understand her when i first read the script and understand what motivated her. I didn't know why she was making the decision making and for me. That's always a sign that something that i'm invested and i'm dying to explore more fully. Who this person is that that that feels like the the most important marker to take on a new part is that i. I don't get it but that's such an interesting way to put it. Because i think intuitively. Think oh i get this person. I need to go play that character but for us. Some of that mystery is is appealing the character. Yeah it feels like that's the dream to be able to reach inside people's heads and hearts that you don't fully understand it's an exercise in empathy and and and a constant in it's always scary and and that's the dream to be able to play roles like that over and over and over again. There's also the element of period piece which is fun in terms of the the outfits and the cars and your kitchen design wallpaper dreams fun to step into again as you did want to step into a different place in time. Yeah i love that. Period pieces like sign movies and movies involves some kind of world building let you transform more completely and dive a little bit deeper into a character and into a world that feels far away and i mean are brilliant production designer gave buckley created these incredible sets and and what a gift to be able to walk into these rooms. I mean the motels sets are some of my that we had a number of sets in motels and they were just so colors were so vibrant and the carpets were amazing. And the lamps. And it just feels like you'd time traveled and you get out of your own way and just start living in this space in the moment set watch you think like wow every cabinet and every chair. Kitchen every piece of carpet. Somebody really thought about this to make this a convincing world. War is it fair to say. This is your first major starring role in a movie. Is that classifying that correctly. So what is that like then to carrying the movie the cast is incredible but certainly the star of the movie. What does that feel like as an actor. I hadn't really thought about it in those to make you nervous like. Oh god the job. No i hadn't i hadn't really thought about it in those terms and i think part of that is because this was also this is also my first time producing a film and so i was involved from a much earlier. Stage in the process than actors traditionally get to step in and that also means that i got to collaborate from a much earlier stage in the process. Then we're usually invited to and so it just has. It's been such an extended process which has been a real gift. And i think in some way of taking pressure off of just occupying role or having to think about it because we have producing to do But i but i mean i can't. I can't imagine a better film to be able to call that than this one. And two have been able to work with julia heart and jordan horwitz and my friend marsha stephanie blake one of my dearest friends carly is one of our casting directors and brilliant arinda kenny and our babies. Justin and jameson. charles. I mean this. This is a dream and then It's been it's been amazing and it's so nice to be able to finally talk about every are so to the layman. Who might be watching this. What does it mean to be a producer on the movie. How does that change your job. Because i think some people say okay. Rachel's star put her name on it. She's the producer sometimes happens. I think yeah but in this case it sounds like you're really in the trenches helping this movie what it is. Yeah and i'm so grateful to have been invited into that position by jordan horwitz who produced a film with alongside and julia heart. Our director they are they're married. They're married couple. They are also writing partners. They work together all the time. And i'm so grateful to invited into their beautiful partnership a lotta people talk the talk about wanting to include more women in positions of leadership and and julia jordan. Really walk the walk in in all of those different discussions but it was a choice and a deliberate one for them to invite me into the space and to elevate me into this position and to allow it to be far more than vanity project. Jordan was incredible mentor. I mean he's produced an incredible movies. Lala land i'm still pinching myself. But he also one of the greatest things that he did as a mentor was also allow me the space to find my own voices of producer and to grow The long winded way of saying that what it really means is to be involved from a much earlier stage to be involved in script development to be involved in conversations about Budget and how how you wanna make the film and to be hiring all the different departments and involved in casting basically have a hand in every piece of the making of a of a film or television project And then stay with the film after you've finished shooting because then in post production where you're editing and and And working on color and sound and figuring out how you wanna roll the film out into the world and strategy and And i've learned an incredible amount from working on cool that involved with the obvious next step or would be directing there. It's not put you on the spot to say yes something now but do you. I mean having been on this incredible television show. You're on in this great movie that you're in now does that. Does that serve. Get those gears moving for you. But i love directors of love directors as an actor and so grateful for directors like julia who are so interested in that collaboration. I admire so many brilliant directors. I don't know that. I have that desire at this point. I'm loving stepping into this new space in producing I'm a. I'm for an actor and for an artist. I'm i'm a pretty logical logical brained person and so i think the the constant Putting together the puzzle pieces and figuring out how the actual process of making the sausage from produce oriels. Standpoint is really exciting to me that it's an exciting challenge And so. I'm i'm focused there right now. An acting up guys. Thanks for listening to the sunday. Sit down podcast. Stick around to hear more from rachel brosnahan. Right after the break the curse the document we. I had a light a candle. I'm chuck rosenberg on my podcast. The oath i talk with people who served with integrity and honor men and women who liked the way this week. Former head of the guantanamo review task force meddlesome. The initial idea of guantanamo was. Ill conceived that there could be sort of a legal black hole where we could all detainees and it remains a problem in our history i think counterterrorism perspective. Join me for season for the oath and msnbc podcast search for the oath wherever you're listening right now and subscribe new episodes every wednesday. Welcome back to the sunday. Sit down podcast now. More of my conversation with rachel brosnahan. We're sitting here on the upper west side where we lower west side. maybe And you're just as we sit here a couple of weeks away from beginning shooting on season four of the marvelous. mrs maisel. what does it feel like right. Now to be ramping up to another season it feels so nice if fields so exciting to be able to get the family back together again soon. We haven't seen each other in more than a year now got. That seems a great annoy each other early this year before everything shut down but it feels like it's rammer and as long as we've been apart since we started making the show so it's been so exciting to be back at the a little bed trying on costumes hang on hat saying hello to everyone. We miss each other and are really excited to get back so obviously not gonna ask you to give any way. But where do we find niches. You walk into this. This fourth season other than fired. I believe on an airport tarmac. He has ever call to be completely honest. That is the last. That's the that's the last i know. I haven't seen scripts yet for this season. No and i have no idea what we're in store for. I usually i feel like. I usually know a little bit more than i currently heading into another season. But i know there were gonna way i've seen some costumes. They're amazing lots of hats to come in in this season. Lots of insane hats to come this year. But i have no idea what words in store for. Visit a scary thought that or do you trust the writers enough that it's going to be okay. I both absolutely. I know that they're going to come up with some brilliant stuff. I know they're going to make us wanna tear our hair out and we're gonna have to learn to hundreds of pages of dialogue a week but that's half the fun you know you're saying earlier before we started that. You're a little bit of an introvert. You've said that publicly to. I'm not yet telling tales outside of school. Play a character midge. Who is not just an expert but a stand up comic which is like the scariest profession. You if you're that kind of person totally. How did you approach that. When he first started. And say okay. I have to really be somebody. I'm not know if it is. It's dreamy in that. It continues to be reach. I feel like sometimes. Or at least i've heard from other people that being on a series for a number of years it can start. It can start to get older. Can start reveal like you're doing the same thing over and over again that the great gift of working on this show that it never gets easier. It never feels idiot. Feel like such a reach and that's very exciting. I've tried a lot of things. I have an amazing acting coach named teddy bear ski. I couldn't do anything without ted. We've worked together for for seven years at this point so pre prenatal That helps lots of preparations Coffee lots of coffee. Power posing the. I've actually tried it. Oh oh you know i mean. I won't do it in here but you just stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground and put your hands on your hips and hold your head up. Take them and just hoped that it comes to you. Hope the confidence convince yourself. Yeah i heard someone say that once and got really desperate in a moment of great insecurity and tried it and then was like i think this works and and now i've found myself in various states of petty code and don behind you outside a third. We started with a garbage truck. We've completed a gift. We've closed the new york circle having a dog. He's now observing it. The whole thing over here power. They found myself in various states of Of petty code and sound and various clothing standing in the mirror hoping the confidence comes so and that doesn't change. i mean you've been through three seasons. You still feel that little pit in your stomach. When it's time to get up on stage and be midge up there yes definitely but it doesn't let you be complacent and i feel like it. You know when you approach every job if you are an anxious nervous person as i as i certainly. Am and a lot of ways especially when it comes to things that i'm passionate about especially when it comes to work i think when you feel like you have nothing to lose you. You just stand at the at the edge of the plank every day and and make the decision to to dive off and just see what happens and and if you can if you can step off. I think it it makes you grow. It makes your work better and more dynamic but the kids do you think. There's those some benefit. I talked to a lot of to have a little of that imposter syndrome. Or this is all going to end tomorrow or like because it keeps some edge for you when you go into a set absolutely. It keeps you grounded. Keeps you great full because genuinely every job could be your last. And i know that i'm not alone in feeling that way that ended my career every time i step onto a set. You know it keeps you keeps you moving forward. You have no other choice really. You can either be paralyzed by that feeling or or keep going and i take great solace knowing that that i'm not crazy and i'm not alone that that you know i. I remember years ago. Shooting shooting something for a couple of days with sam neill and sam neill stepping onto sat on the very first day. Finishing a brilliant take of something amazing and going boo. It never gets easier. And i just remember being like amazing getting many years into this. You still feel that way. You feel seen. Somebody else feels that way. Yeah and it. Lets you know that that if they can keep going so can you. Yeah absolutely wild to you. When you started this i guess well. It rolled out three and a half years ago. The first season you knew you had something good but you could never have imagined it's become what it has become which is emmy winning and golden globe winning and winning i think twenty total. Emmys for you won two golden globes. What do you think when you think about this sort of cultural phenomenon that the show you made has become we just. We can't believe it. This is a group of actors so many of us started in theater who have been on a lot of stuff who have been on a lot of stuff that we loved and we thought was amazing and felt with with equally talented actors and writers and producers and show runners and and that just never quite found its audience. You just never know. And so we feel so lucky that not only are we of this thing that continues to challenge us that makes us better actors and better people and we get to work with these insanely talented folks in every single department of this show but that it also an audience and that other people feel the same way that we do. That's that's crazy and not something to take for granted at all. It might be a hard thing to talk about the inside. But what do you think it is about this show. That is so captured. People's attention imagination. There's something in it for everyone. There are all of these different characters from different walks of life. The character center is someone who even if naively a fair amount of time leads with hope and joy and is reinventing herself past when she thought that was possible for her you know. She thought that her life was set at twenty six years old and and And at that time for a lot of people it was and she's she's throwing down and figuring out who she is and what she wants and now you have. Her parents undergoing a similar journey. You have suzy who represents a completely different energy in this show. Yeah i think it makes people happy. It has beautiful clothes and bright colors. And and yeah. Those are the things that i hear the most often from from people who loved the show. Is the audition story true. That you almost didn't make it to audition because you were so sick. Yeah and that. Maybe you don't even remember the condition because you were so sick. yeah yes it feels like a total blur. I had some kind of terrible flu. Which now seems crazy that i went at all in the moment that we're living in but then you know you could after a certain of time but i was so sick i really couldn't get on a plane. I it was one of those. I've never been knocked on my behind like that from from illness before. And i i just. I was like sweaty and gross and and it was like on the tail end. It had been like twelve days or something at the time. I finally went but with nervous. Because you know it was. A big opportunity was sweaty and disgusting and felt like i had lost my whole mind and i'm so grateful that i actually had tissues stuffed in the back of my pants. At one point. I took off my shoes. Because you know my feet. Were so sweaty that i was sliding around them it was. It was a disaster. But but probably very midge say maybe that worked for you and some backward way. Incredible when asked about yearly departed. Such a cool idea avenue. Amazing women standups. Yeah friends of yours together. Described project a little bit. Yeah so yearly departed is a satirical funeral for the year. Twenty twenty where some of the funniest women that we know and love are going to lay this dumpster. Fire of a year to rest by delivering eulogies for some of the things. We've lost from casual sex to beige. Bandaids and beyond. And we had this incredible cast sarah silverman tiffany haddish pattie harrison. Natasha rothwell natasha zero. It's it's it was incredible in the midst of a wild pandemic to be able to is very cathartic to be able to get these women together and say goodbye to twenty twenty. Four twenty twenty was over us. Yeah we are head writer. Best cow old is unbelievable. I don't know if you're familiar with her work. And she was a writer on kimmel for a number of years and this is her first time stepping into this position and she's unbelievable mass incredible writers room. Yeah it was one of those things where you just put up the bat signal to your friends and you're like hey we're getting the superheroes together avenue were like we're getting the folks together. Well it was a largely. I mean a lot of the folks who we ended up working with new women from a writer's room new bass tiffany new art director. Lindemann does so it was just it. Was this amazing group of women coming together to make this thing. We had so many women in positions of leadership in front of and behind the camera. Our director our dp. Our editors are composer. It was so much fun to build a look around on these zoom meetings. And just see all these women looking back at us it shouldn't still feel radical but it does. It was amazing my big thanks again to rachel for a great conversation while you wait for season. Four of the marvelous mrs maisel. You can catch rachel's film. I'm your woman. And the comedy special yearly departed both streaming right now on amazon prime video. My thanks to all of you as always for tuning in if you want to hear more of my full length conversations with our guests every week be sure to click subscribe so you never miss an episode and of course. Don't forget to tune in to sunday today. Every weekend on nbc. I'm willie geist. We'll see you right back here next week on the sunday. Sit down podcast. Hey it's chris hayes. This week on my podcast wise is happening. I'll be talking with writer right thompson about nostalgia memory the south and bourbon one of the things. That really blew my mind. Doing this book is finding out that kentucky for instance was in the union of course bourbon. Which is the most nostalgic mythologised of drinks. Of course bourbon is made in a place that now pretend that lost a war at actually one. So when you're looking at the south you do need to understand the the powered seductiveness of mythology and always be aware of the fact that if you aren't looking out forward it will get you at this week unwise happening search for wisest happening wherever. You're listening right now and subscribe.

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