Rachel Brosnahan Talks Perfecting Her Stand-Up Game as ‘Mrs. Maisel': ‘We’re Learning Together’

“I have to become a better technical comedian, which is horrifying,” the star tells TheWrap

Last Updated: December 7, 2019 @ 3:22 PM

When it comes to nailing her stand-up comedy skills for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” its star, Rachel Brosnahan, says it’s something that she and her character, Midge, are “learning together.”

“The stand-up, in some ways it’s easier. You get a little more confident with practice,” Brosnahan told TheWrap ahead of the Amazon comedy’s Season 3 premiere on Friday. “But the audiences are getting bigger and we’re taking the show on the road. And we literally did. I performed in Miami in front of Miami locals. So just when I think I’m getting comfortable, there’s a new curveball thrown.”

It’s been intimidating for both Brosnahan and Midge to stand in front of a crowd and try to make them laugh. During the show’s first season, Midge wasn’t a comedian; she was just a funny wife and mother who found humor in everyday life. “She was just a funny woman who had a prolonged breakdown on stage. And it was hilarious,” Brosnahan said. “And then she kind of stumbled into this career that she found that she loved and wanted to pursue.”

In Season 3, Midge goes on the road with popular singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) as his opening act, where she is exposed to bigger and more critical audiences from all over the country. From the way Brosnahan tells it, she’s got her work cut out for both herself and her character.

“She’s gonna have to get technically better. She’s gonna have to write tighter jokes, improvise less. And she’s gonna have to be able to tell great jokes when she’s not having a breakdown or when she’s not distraught or angry at someone or upset about something that happened in her life. That’s challenging, and it also means that I have to become a better technical comedian, which is horrifying,” she joked.

Reflecting on the last three seasons of the show, Brosnahan admits that she’s surprised just how slow to grow Midge has been, which she never would have expected when she began the character’s journey three seasons ago.

“This is a double edged sword, but one of the biggest surprises to me is, for as smart as Midge is — and she is, she’s smart and sharp and funny — how slowly she grows sometimes,” Brosnahan said. “Despite the fact that everyone around her is telling her that they’re having issues of their own as well, she can’t hear it. Particularly with Susie. She’s often blind to the plights of other people, and for someone so smart, that’s been something that has been surprising to me, that I also think is not unrealistic.”

She went on. “Progress isn’t always linear — it’s almost never linear, certainly. And she’s growing at a sometimes slower pace than I would like her to. But she is growing… and she grows more in Season 3 than she has in the past two.”

Season 3 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is now streaming in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video.