Devoted mothers Rose Weissman (Marin Hinkle) and Shirley Maisel (Caroline Aaron) evolved during the five seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Rose began her journey as a rather timid, delicate flower and became a formidable businesswoman pursuing her passion for matchmaking despite several major obstacles, including disapproval from her husband Abe (Tony Shalhoub).
While Shirley stayed true to her devotion to her husband, Moishe (Kevin Pollack) and son, Joel (Michael Zegen), she ensured that her voice was always heard – whether it was tender or shrill.
Saying a reluctant farewell to the award-winning Prime Video series during the fifth and final season has been difficult for the Maisel family, both on and off screen, and these two extraordinary character actors recently waxed poetic about how the series not only inspired its viewers around the globe but changed their own lives.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel centers around a Manhattan housewife and mother of two young children, Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), whose life is upended when her husband Joel reveals that he has cheated on her.
Instead of leaning on Joel or her parents, Rose and Abe Weissman, she embarks on a bumpy ride to becoming a stand-up comic in a male-dominated industry. With loads of pluck, resilience, and heaps of support from her manager Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein), she teaches us that dreams are worth all the hard work it takes to make them come true.
The show that earned 20 Emmy Awards and many other accolades is praised for the beautiful period costumes, including one of Midge’s cape-like coats that are on display at the Smithsonian, and the elaborate late 50s and early 60s sets that took viewers to Paris, Miami, the Catskills and around Manhattan. The specially-selected music also added a great deal to the retro vibe. All of this has cemented The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and its memorable characters into the pop culture fabric of our lives.
Aaron and Hinkle greatly admire Rachel Brosnahan and her character, Midge, and find a lot of life lessons there.
“The character of Midge is somebody that I’d like to grow up to be,” Aaron exclusively tells Monsters and Critics.
“It is really scary to fight the status quo. My mother and sister did that, but I’m not as brave as they are. Yet, when the rug is pulled out from under Midge at the end of the third season and everything is over when she gets fired, her response is to begin again,” Aaron says. “It’s like life is a bit like the game Candy Land. You draw a card, you’re almost at the top of the mountain, you go all the way down to the bottom of the mountain and you have to start the game all over again.”
Hinkle adds that the show, and Brosnahan, have enriched her life in a myriad of ways. “Miss Rachel Brosnahan has changed my life, and Midge Maisel has, too,” Hinkle explains. “All of the women on this show are very strong women. They are also all women twhogo after something without the kind of fear that I often do in my own life.”
Read on for why Marin Hinkle and Caroline Aaron are sad to say goodbye to the Maisel-Weissman clan, what they loved about the five seasons, and why they will stay lifelong friends and want to work together again,soon.
Monsters and Critics: How tough is it to say goodbye to this show?
Marin Hinkle: I hate that it is ending.
Caroline Aaron: We hate that it’s ending, but we don’t hate the ending.
M&C: Please talk about working with Rachel and her impact on you.
Marin Hinkle: Rachel Brosnahan has truly changed my life. I remember the first episode we were shooting together and Rachel had something that wasn’t working with her artistically. I thought I would never have the courage to bring this thing up. She brought it up, spoke to one of the people that she works with, and they spoke to the creators. She was 26 at the time. I thought, wow, I will follow her to the ends of the earth.
It has now been five years, and I still feel that way, if not more so. Although she has the largest of lives, the two of us delight when we text her and she texts us back. She’s a producer finding material and she’s on Broadway. We just love her so much and we are inspired by the courage she has, not just artistically but personally. I just love it.
M&C: And how has Midge Maisel inspired you?
Caroline Aaron: I concur with everything that Marin says about Rachel. It all starts with the person who leads a television show, especially if you’re going to be together for many, many years. I give Rachel credit all the time for bringing such joy to all of us for five years as our title character.
This is something that I think we all have to endure in our lives. Midge does it with real pluck about everything. One of the things that I love about the way the character is written is that she has enormous gravitas and she’s also like a confection. To put those two things together, that sort of effervescence and that gravitas which that alchemy combines in Rachel’s performance and also in the writing of Midge is that life is very serious and it is also incredibly entertaining at the same time.
M&C: Do you both hope to work together again with Tony and Kevin and other Maisel cast members in the future?
Caroline Aaron: Absolutely. There are lots of jobs where you’re in countdown mode because you are just keeping it together to get along in order to create a product and then you just go okay it’s over. But we would truly like to work together again anytime, anyplace. This was really lightning in a bottle in terms of this ensemble. I don’t know how to really emphasize how much we really did get along.
I always ask Amy and Dan, are you guys so talented that you can write, produce, direct, and cast chemistry? But they said they also were part of that lucky star of us all being together. It’s just been remarkable, and it does start with Rachel. If Rachel had been a diva, I don’t think any of this would have come together. Most of us are from the theater and I think we recognize that acting is a team sport; it is not a solo act. We know that it’s all about passing the ball and being on a winning team means that you have to share it.
M&C: I have heard from many of you about how coming back together was like a joyous family reunion.
Marin Hinkle: We really did become a family. I have found in my other series we haven’t done this so much. We traveled together a lot because our scenes were taking us to the Catskills, Paris, and Miami. On those flights, at the hotels, and walking around finding restaurants we talk about things that go way beyond artistic lives. So, during the five seasons, Caroline became a grandma, Tony has two grandchildren now, and I have a child that went off to college and people went through a lot of rites of passage. went through It’s really been amazing, that foundation, and something that I hadn’t experienced that sense of family.
M&C: Do you want to work with one another again? Soon?
Marin Hinkle: Yes. I love the theater so much and we’ve gone to see each other do readings and we’ve already been passing along plays to each other. It has been about which producers we talk to about doing this on or off-Broadway. We are looking for things where we can work together.
M&C: Any final words you want to say to Rose and Shirley?
Marin Hinkle: I will say that with the creation that Amy and Dan have put forth, I have never been so blessed as to have someone as complicated, as funny, as witty, as sharp, as beautiful as this character. When I look at the scenes of what I got to do I just pinch myself and say I couldn’t have dreamed this up. It surpasses anything I ever imagined as an artist that I would have the opportunity to be part of.
Caroline Aaron: I think for Shirley it’s that I want my son to be happy. I think that then my life will be happy. That’s been her – in terms of this time period I think of the Weissmans as being much more assimilated and the Maisels as being aspirational in terms of the American dream. So, Shirley’s big dream is to pay it forward, and I hope Joel will have the joy and love of family that I have always enjoyed.
Season 5 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel premieres with three episodes on Friday, April 14, on Prime Video, with a new episode becoming available every week until the series finale on May 26. Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Prime Video.