‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Star Tony Shalhoub Helped His Costar Rewrite This Movie

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fans know Tony Shalhoub as Midge (Rachel Brosnahan)’s father Abe. Shalhoub has had many memorable roles previously, from TV’s Monk to Galaxy Quest’s engineer. The cast of his 2001 horror movie Thirteen Ghosts were quite fond of him too.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub | Amazon Studios

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Scream Factory is putting out a new Blu-ray of Thirteen Ghosts on July 28. Shalhoub does not participate in the new bonus features. He was probably busy filming the latest season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. However, co-star Shannon Elizabeth and director Steve Beck share how he helped both of them improve the script for the movie. 

Before ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ Shannon Elizabeth played Tony Shalhoub’s daughter

Elizabeth was a rising star in 2001 having completed American Pie and Scary Movie. Thirteen Ghosts was a real scary movie in which Arthur Kriticos (Shalhoub) and his kids (Elizabeth and Alec Roberts) inherit a mansion. When they go to check it out, they discover they’ve inherited 13 other spirits.

“My biggest memory of the film and working on it and creating these characters was working really closely with Tony Shalhoub,” Elizabeth said on the Blu-ray. “He’s Lebanese, I’m Lebanese. He was truly like a dad to me.”

Tony Shalhoub helped write ‘Thirteen Ghosts’

Actors will often improvise dialogues or make suggestions for their characters. Thirteen Ghosts left room for Shalhoub and the cast to do even more. 

Thirteen Ghosts premiere
L-R: Rah Digga, Matthew Lillard and Shannon Elizabeth | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

What was incredible to me, we were flying back and forth to Vancouver to film. There were lots of little areas that we wanted to rewrite or there were changes made, but because of those changes we needed to rewrite more down the line. So when we would fly back and forth we would talk about changes. He would write things down. He was very collaborative with me. For me, I was so new. Being so young, I was just really grateful that he allowed me to have any input with him and he really took my input to heart and treated me as an equal actor with him and partner. I have so much respect for him.

Shannon Elizabeth on the Thirteen Ghosts Blu-ray

‘Thirteen Ghosts’ director Steve Beck corroborated Shannon Elizabeth’s story

Beck gives an audio commentary along with the film. He confirms Elizabeth’s story, and Shalhoub wasn’t the only one rewriting.

“This beloved cast took it upon themselves just to explore the script and to see where elements were falling and see what they would have different opinions about, where things were going and helped as much as they possibly could with making sure what they said really brought it to life,” Beck said. “I have to give them so much credit for that.”

Since Thirteen Ghosts was his first film as a director, he was open to his veteran cast’s suggestions.

Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub | Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

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“While we were busy shooting this darn thing, they were off doing their own thing just bringing stuff to all this time saying what if, what if, what if?” Beck said. “If it made the picture better, let’s just do it because it’s going to make the picture better. I think that sense of involvement and ownership also helped elevate the quality of this picture.”

Shalhoub’s contributions stood out to Beck especially.

“You don’t have to say a word to Tony because everything coming out of Tony was just gold,” Beck said.