Alex Borstein, who plays the no-nonsense counterpart to Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, seems perfectly suited to play her character, comedy manager Susie Myerson. But why did the Emmy-winning Amazon series cast member hope she would “hate” the part?
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ star Alex Borstein on getting cast in the 1st season
Borstein has known the Mrs. Maisel co-creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, for years now. In fact, she almost played Sookie St. James on Sherman-Palladino’s show Gilmore Girls, before Melissa McCarthy ended up with that role. So, Borstein had already heard rumblings of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel long before Sherman-Palladino even wrote the scripts, as she told the Los Angeles Times in Aug. 2020.
“I heard Amy talk about this project loosely long before she wrote and pitched it; we’ve been friends a long time,” the Maisel star explained. Sherman-Palladino revealed the idea to her over a lunch in LA. But then — Borstein began making plans to move to Spain.
“When I decided to move to Barcelona, Amy was like, ‘Would you still consider auditioning for this part?'” Borstein recalled, referencing the role of Susie. The actor wasn’t enthusiastic.
“I was hoping to hate it,” Borstein admitted. However, it didn’t pan out like she had hoped.
“… she sent it to me and I loved it,” the Maisel actor revealed. From there, things moved pretty quickly, she told the LA Times.
“I flew in, I put on clothes,” Borstein shared. “There wasn’t much research or study. So, some of it was Amy writing to me — not for me, but I think she had me in mind to some degree.” It also sounds like a lot of the characterization came from tapping into her friend and colleague’s personality.
“There’s a lot of Amy in [Susie],” Borstein explained.
Rachel Brosnahan gushes about her fellow cast member Alex Borstein
While Borstein didn’t want to like her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, by all accounts, she’s the perfect actor for the character.
“Comedy is just in her bones,” Brosnahan gushed to Gold Derby about Borstein. She can make something that wouldn’t be funny to anyone else on paper so funny that the whole crew is trying to stifle laughter while she’s shooting it.”
Borstein and Brosnahan are also impeccable at playing off each other in the Amazon series. What makes it all the more impressive is that they had never worked together before Maisel.
“We had a chemistry read early on in the process,” Brosnahan explained. Continuing, the Maisel star recalled:
I think I had already been cast and Alex and I read once together and we had this immediate and very strange chemistry that I think works so well for Susie and Midge. We are so different but love each other very, very much. …I’m so in awe of the way that she moves through the world and it makes absolutely no sense and yet it works completely.