Two-time Emmy Award winner Alex Borstein is having a transformational year. Not only has The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ended after five seasons of the show on Amazon’s Prime Video, but she’s also launched her most personal project to date, the musical comedy special Corsets and Clown Suits, which is also streaming on the platform.
In this episode of the Awards Circuit podcast, Burstyn reflects on her experience playing Susie Myerson, the titular stand-up comic (Rachel Brosnahan), and the way her characterization has evolved over time, especially this season when she was the character. Life and sexuality are fully explored. Listen below!
“I kind of can’t believe I was a part of it,” Burstein says. “We took off at such a perfect moment, in a way. The world was turning their heads and wanting to look at women differently. … It really is a chapter in feminism and I feel proud to be a part of it and that wasn’t the agenda.”
Her favorite line comes from the pilot of “Maisel”, in a scene where Susie tries to get Midge to get on stage and do her set.
“I don’t mind being alone,” says the character. “That’s the way I think everyone in this world feels. It is not “I want to be a star”, “I want to be successful”, “I want money”. You just want to feel important. You want to feel as if you left something valuable behind.”
When asked if she feels important, Burstein said the trick is that you have to “crawl toward importance” every day. If you thought you mattered before you were in your 60s or 70s, “you’re probably an idiot,” Burstein says and laughs.
“If you leave behind a legacy of treating people well and caring for someone around you, that’s probably the most important person you’ll be,” she adds. “But, you know, having a billboard with your face on it, that’s so much fun.” (And at the moment, she has two.)
Also in this episode, the Variety Awards Roundtable checks out all the show’s delays and cancellations, including the Daytime Emmys and Peabody Awards, and getting skinny straight from Cannes.
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is a one-stop listening station for lively conversations about the best in film and TV. Every week, the Awards Circuit features interviews with top film and TV talents and creators. debates and debates about award races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you download podcasts. New episodes published weekly.