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Rachel Brosnahan & Alex Borstein on Flash-Forwards

May 5, 2023


Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 5 Episode 6 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.After five episodes, we finally see the aftermath of the break between Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie (Alex Borstein). In this week’s episode “The Testi-Roastial” of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel we flash forward to 1990 when Susie is being roasted by her colleagues. There, we learn about her illustrious career and how it played out for her after her struggles during the late 50s and early 60s. Throughout the series, Midge and Susie’s relationship has been the heart of the show. Not only is Susie Midge’s staunch supporter, but Midge was Susie’s first client and ultimately Midge’s success launched Susie’s career.

However, after a fallout over the arrest of Joel (Michael Zegen), Midge cuts off contact with Susie. Joel agreed to work for Frank (Erik Palladino), Nicky (John Scurti), and the mob if they would give up the 30% that they earned from Midge’s performances, and throughout the years, he participated in more and more illegal activity. Ultimately this led to him being arrested in 1985 while at Temple in front of his whole family and community.

We talked to Brosnahan and Borstein about this final season and discussed the flash-forwards with them and what it was like getting into costume as their older selves. We talked about Susie and Midge’s relationship, whether or not they’re soulmates, as well as Susie’s sexuality being discussed explicitly in the series finally.

Check out our full interview in the video or read it below.

COLLIDER: Season 5 is wild. I’ve seen everything but the last episode, and I just love seeing your characters’ sort of chaotic relationship, shall we say, throughout the season. What was your reaction when you found out the direction that your characters would take the season?

RACHEL BROSNAHAN: As always, we were surprised, which has been one of the best parts about being on this show. We never really know what’s coming, and so we eagerly await that first script to see what the fuck we’re gonna be up to this year, and it was great. I mean, it was nice to see their relationship continue to evolve and their womance continue to blossom. And, I think for the first time in this season – not the first time, but a new – you see Midge trust Susie, and really give over to Susie in a way that I don’t know that we’ve seen before, which was really exciting to get to play.

ALEX BORSTEIN: Yeah, I think people have this idea that we know what’s coming. You know, we sit down for the first season and they talk about the whole show, and, “Here’s what’s gonna happen,” and we get nothing like that. Every script shows up, sometimes hours before we read them aloud at the table–

BROSNAHAN: [Laughs] In the middle of the night…

BORSTEIN: –and you’re kind of finding out a bit about your past that you had no idea about, and then you’re finding out what might come in your future. It’s crazy. It’s like life itself, you know? I think that’s what makes the show feel so spontaneous in a way is, you’re living in the moment of your character, and you’re unpeeling it very slowly as the audience is being fed it.

Image via Amazon Studios

For sure. Obviously, the show is known for its costuming and the way that it presents a lot of its characters, but in this season specifically, we move through time, shall I say. What was it like getting into costume for those types of scenes and filming those different points in your characters’ lives?

BROSNAHAN: It was wild [laughs]. We went through a number of prosthetics tests together. We were absolutely horrified looking at each other sitting in the chair.

BORSTEIN: Yes, it’s very disturbing. What they can do now with prosthetics is far too realistic, and you don’t want to see that, folks.

BROSNAHAN: You gotta look at your own mortality, it’s pretty fucked up!

BORSTEIN: You don’t wanna see what’s coming down the chute because it ain’t pretty. Yeah, it’s interesting how wardrobe can really reflect how your character is changing on the inside. Susie has always been like a belt and a suspenders kind of gal, super secure, super scared, making sure, making sure better safe than sorry. And you know, as she progresses in age, she loosens up, she doesn’t have to wear a belt, there’s nothing to keep up. She lets her shoulders lower and becomes more comfortable in her own skin, more confident.

BROSNAHAN: Midge, as you can expect, continues to deliver look after look and becomes the chicest older lady I’ve ever seen. But it was fun to get to take them into the future, and to get to experiment with slight variations on Midge’s signature look, her signature hair. I remember looking around the trailer and there were like four different versions of Midge’s wig that were ever so slightly altered for the 70s, and then again for the 80s and the early 2000s. It was really, really fun.

She had some really great work done. I should take the name of her plastic surgeon [laughs].

BORSTEIN: Yeah, find out who Midge went to.

Yeah, for Susie, it was getting to let go of her exterior armor, you know, her suit, I think, and her hat, and being bulletproof and feeling like that vest– because she’s scared, really, and doesn’t want to let anyone in. And as in Season 5, she opens up more and she lets Midge in more, and she reveals more. She doesn’t need that anymore; she doesn’t have to protect herself as severely.

Imsge via Amazon Studios

And touching on that aspect of Susie’s life, we get to explore a bit more of her sexuality, shall I say. In this season, specifically, it becomes a little bit more overt. Was that something that you were looking forward to exploring with your character, and especially with her relationship with Midge, which I wouldn’t say is wholly romantic, but there are some undertones there?

BORSTEIN: Well, I mean, Midge and Susie are in love with each other, absolutely. It’s platonic, it’s not sexual, but they are–

BROSNAHAN: They’re soulmates.

BORSTEIN: They’re soulmates, and their respect, and — the bottom line, they are in love with each other. But I think the way Amy wrote to Susie, and exploring her sexuality, I think she stayed very true to who Susie is. Susie would not have let Midge in until she was ready to let Midge in. She would not have walked around with that on her sleeve.

Susie’s already this wildly political character without trying to be. Just being who she is, looking the way she looks, and existing in a man’s world, she’s already tackling huge things every day that she leaves her house, but that was no one else’s business. And just in Season 5, she’s comfortable enough to kind of let her in a little bit more, and kind of let her know, “Yes, I have a heart. Yes, it may have been broken,” and that was not easy for Susie to do.

BROSNAHAN: And that we’re friends, for real. That really is the moment where, after jokingly denying it for so long, it feels for real.

BORSTEIN: Yeah, I think for Susie [in] Season 4, it started when she lost Jackie, realizing that was a friend and what it feels like, now, to lose a friend, you became even more precious to her.

BROSNAHAN: Yeah, I guess it’s for Midge that it feels like finally, she can see something on the inside and that means it’s forever. That’s the thing she’s never gotten before.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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