Exclusive: Why Reid Scott and Jason Ralph love Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and why they hate to say goodbye

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam (Midge) Maisel wearing a red jacket with a matching pillbox hat and scarf in the Prime Video series, The Marvelous Maisel.
Rachel Brosnahan in the Prime Video series, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Pic credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

While we have all fallen madly in love with Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) during the five seasons of the Prime Video hit The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there are some Maisel family members who are happy to provide a bit of an inside scoop.

 As the series finale grows closer, all of us are getting ready to say a fond farewell to Midge, Joel (Michael Zegen), their quirky extended family, and her manager Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein). And let’s not forget Midge’s high-profile colleagues, talk show host Gordon Ford (Reid Scott) and his right-hand-man Mike Carr (Jason Ralph).

In the Season 5 trailer, Midge is in the snow looking up at a huge billboard advertising the Gordon Ford Show, and she knows in her heart of hearts that this is a sign that the talk show will lead to her future success.

Both Scott and Ralph say they were instantly smitten with the colorful world of the Maisel family, especially its leading lady.

Scott heaps high praise on Brosnahan, and Carr, being her real-life husband, knows first-hand how dedicated and hard-working she is, and that dedication has helped the show win 20 Emmy Awards and many other accolades.

When asked why his show about a Jewish New York housewife, who becomes a stand-up comic, resonates with people around the world, co-creator Daniel Palladino said it is part of the magic that was created by every cast and crew member and another reason why no one involved in the show wanted to bid it a fond farewell.

 “We have a big audience in India, which surprised us, but because of the love of color and the Bollywood tradition in India, viewers like our movement and liveliness,” Palladino explains. “We know that we have fan bases all over the world, and it’s gratifying. It also makes it so hard to say goodbye.”

He added that he and his wife, Amy Sherman-Palladino, the co-creator of the show, have always put out a message of inclusion in all of their projects, which also resonates with its viewers.

 “From our show Gilmore Girls on, a lot of our message, hidden in entertainment and humor, was that young people, especially young women, should not be afraid to be considered nerdy or an oddball and should read and not be embarrassed that they are smart,” he explains. “It’s a message we always want to put out there – that is our worldview, and so we put it in everything that we write.”

In Season 5, Midge explores life as the token “lady writer” on the fictional Gordon Ford Show, which Susie urges her to pursue as a way to get on the show.

As always, Midge has her roller coaster ride of successes and setbacks while trying to make her way in the male-dominated world of stand-up comedy. There are many twists and turns, a glimpse into the future, and the return of favorite guest stars in the final season.

“I totally get why people are going to miss the show,” Ralph explains to Monsters and Critics, “because there’s nothing else like it, and I don’t think there will be for a very long time.”

Monsters and Critics: When gushing fans come up to you and your wife, Rachel Brosnahan, the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and tell you how amazing she is, what is that like for you personally?

Jason Ralph: Oh, it’s the best. But I have an extremely funny story to share with you. We were at a restaurant recently, and the waiter came over, and he just instantly became struck. I was like, well, he recognized Rachel. He looked at me, and he goes, “You’re on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

So, Rachel is sitting right across the table, and he did not see her at all. [He laughed]. He saw me, and he was like, “Oh my God, my mom and I love the show. We saw you last season.” I was in one, maybe two, scenes last season, and he was just absolutely taken and did not recognize her at all. That was phenomenal!

M&C: You and Rachel have had a lot of surreal moments because of Mrs. Maisel, like going to the Emmy Awards. What is that like?

Jason Ralph: It is absolutely surreal and exciting. What can I say, I am very proud, and I know how much hard work goes into all of it.

M&C: Your wife is on Broadway now in Lorraine Hanbury’s play The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window after moving the show from off-Broadway.

Jason Ralph: It is an incredible show. I have seen it several times, and Rachel is the best part of it! I am just filled with pride!

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam (Midge) Maisel is having a conversation in an office setting with Jason Ralph as Mike Carr in the Prime Video series, The Marvelous Maisel
Rachel Brosnahan and Jason Ralph in the Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Pic credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

M&C: Is it hard for the show to be over?

Reid Scott: Yes. In so many ways, the show changed our lives and was just such a really fun, inspiring family to be a part of. I’ll be sad to see it go.

M&C: Please talk about being inspired by both Midge and Rachel. The journey — especially all the naysayers that urge you to give up — is something that most people, especially women, can identify with.

Reid Scott: I don’t know what to say. Rachel Brosnahan is the best actor in the world. Yes, I think the show’s inspiring.

Jason Ralph: I see it’s so unique that they took a show that could reach an audience like this and having set it in an era – from day one, that’s been one of the amazing things about this show, that they have this incredibly female, empowering conceit of the show, this amazing character, sitting in a time where obviously things were changing but a woman like Midge in this time was just up against it everywhere she turned.

Yet, Rachel’s done an amazing job, obviously, applying this character just perfectly. But pushing a modern social narrative forward by looking backward to the 1960s, I think is just really unique.

M&C: Everyone involved in Mrs. Maisel talks a lot about family –the family in the show and the family’s feelings. So, when you get back together after not seeing each other for a while, does it just feel like a camp reunion or a family reunion?

Jason Ralph: Yes, exactly like that. Those relationships that you just sort of pick up and start right where you left off. Everyone’s amazing. It’s crazy. It’s a very, very lucky show and situation.

Reid Scott: It’s a unique production. Basically, coming out of the end of Season 4 and then for Season 5, I was struck by how welcoming everybody in the regular cast was. I’m sort of parachuting in, I’m brand new, and it really had more of a repertory theater company feel where everyone was just so warm and everyone was so committed to the work. It’s rare to be part of a cast or larger production like that, but everyone from the top down, Amy, Dan, the crew, everyone was just so enamored with this show and really believed in it that it fostered this wonderful atmosphere of creativity. It’s very rare.

Jason Ralph: Rachel always talks about how difficult this show is and her knowing that and really trying to let new people on the show, bring new people in and give them a heads-up about how it’s going to be and just kind of create the warmest, most welcoming environment possible; I think she does a really good job of that.

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam (Midge) Maisel, and Reid Scott as Gordon Ford are dancing in a diner on the Prime Video series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Rachel Brosnahan and Reid Scott in the Prime Video series The Marvelous Maisel. Pic credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

M&C: How did your characters evolve for you? Gordon is a little bit of a scoundrel, but overall, a good guy. Mike softens, and we don’t like him a whole lot because of his reluctance to give Midge a chance.

Reid Scott: It was great. I’m slowly making a career out of playing these privileged white pricks, which I will fully admit I really enjoy. But it was fun. It was fun to take it on a journey. Again, that speaks to the talent of Amy and Dan, how they write fully-fledged characters who are not one-dimensional by any means.

They are really interested in seeing all the different facets of these characters and pushing them to their extreme, taking them to their breaking point, and pulling them back from the cliff’s edge. This show kind of does all of that for every single character. It’s amazing how they pull that off.

Jason Ralph: Yeah, I had the best time getting into this character. I never got to play a psychopath before, which Mike is. I don’t know if it was written that way or if that just sort of happened because there was something boiling deep down inside of me. It was so fun to get to play this character that sometimes kind of was just this sort of like – the way I was thinking about playing it was just like this angry clown character. 

Then [co-creators] Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino would do such a beautiful job of letting this kind of broad fury kind of dribble about the set and then just kind of pull it back slightly and, as you said, kind of soften him out. It was a really fun acting journey to kind of find this guy, and – I was going to do a spoiler, but I won’t.

Reid Scott: Nobody stays unchanged. That’s one of the really cool things about it. Even in one season, both of these characters get to go through a whole journey. They start in one place, and they end in one place completely different. Which I think is important, too. No one ends up being a caricature. It was fun to play. I hope it’s fun to watch.

The writers for The Gordon Ford Show are gathered around Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam (Midge) Maisel disscussing what is on some sheets of paper that they are holding, on the Prime Video series, The Marvelous Maisel
Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as part of the writing staff of the Gordon Ford Show on the Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Pic credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

M&C: Talk about the feeling that you were really working on a Johnny Carson-type talk show. It looked extremely realistic.

Reid Scott: It was kind of a dream of mine. I came to age in the ’90s when late night was, in my opinion, really at its peak. You still had David Letterman on the air, you had Jay Leno, Conan emerging and doing something brand new that hadn’t been done in decades. That’s really where I kind of cut my teeth. I adored those guys. To get the chance to actually play a late-night host was fulfilling a certain dream of mine.

Then just to get to do research, there haven’t been too many roles that I’ve gotten to play where I’ve gotten to do this level of research. It was a really unique challenge, and it was just a really fun preparation process. The show is so iconic, too, that it required that. I loved being pushed to bring that to set. 

Then working with Amy and Dan and their wonderful scripts was so immersive from everything. The way the sets were built to how they cast everything out, it was just so unique. I’m still kind of walking on air after being a part of this whole thing.

Jason Ralph: It’s funny, kind of. Being in the entertainment industry, you kind of assume that you know everything about it. This is one part that I’d never thought of before. We grew up with these guys and these shows, but I never thought about what is life or how they create these shows. It was so enlightening and really fun to learn about. Then to get to play and be a part of the chaos behind the scenes that creates this beautiful, polished thing.

Reid Scott: It’s a format, it’s a really unique format if you look at it. Even visually, it hasn’t changed in 80 years. You’ve got your desk, you’ve got your chair, you’ve got your couch, you’ve got your band, you’ve got your curtain. These guys, in the 1960s, really cracked this code early on, and they struck gold. There’s a reason it hasn’t changed because it just works. So, to go back and rather than play at these characters, but to create new ones, these guys at the forefront of this new format, was really interesting.

Seasons 1-5 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are now streaming on Prime Video. The series finale airs on Friday, May 26.

Next, Rachel Brosnahan stuns in plaid for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel press day.

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