Rachel Brosnahan may be best known for starring as the title character in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but her latest project shows a very different side of the versatile actress.

Brosnahan stars in I’m Your Woman, a new thriller directed and co-written by Julia Hart that offers a unique take on a familiar cinematic template: what happens to the female characters in a gritty crime drama after they typically disappear from a male-driven plot? The film also serves as Brosnahan’s debut as a feature film producer. We spoke on the phone ahead of the film’s release on Amazon and she told us why she felt this was the right project for her, especially in the wake of her very different work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

I’m Your Woman isn’t the only Brosnahan project launching this month on Amazon Prime Video. The Emmy winner is also executive producing and appearing in the Yearly Departed comedy special. With her hit streaming series expected to resume production next year, Brosnahan spoke to us not only about her new projects, but the challenges that will come with current shooting protocols.

You’re starring as Jean in the film. What can you tell us about her and what attracted you to the script?

The biggest thing that attracted me to this script was Jean’s journey. I love that this is a quiet woman who discovered her power frame by frame by frame. Jean is a fairly traditional 1970s housewife. She really dreamed to find the husband, to have the house, to have the family, and discovered, obviously, that she unfortunately wasn’t able to have children. That was an extremely traumatic experience for her and that’s where we meet her when the film opens.

How did you go about deciding to make this film your debut as a feature film producer?

I’m grateful to Jordan and Julia for giving me the opportunity to step into that position for the first time. It was an idea that came from them. I was so honored to be invited into their really special partnership. I’ve been looking for a path towards producing. It was something that I was interested in but I just hadn’t quite found the right project or the right collaborators. I knew immediately that this is the one. I’m so grateful to Jordan for not only being a mentor to me through this process but also for giving me the space to find my own voice as a producer as well.

I know that director/co-writer Julia Hart looked to 1970 thrillers as inspirations for I’m Your Woman. Did you watch any of these films in preparing for the role?

After the very first meeting that Julia and I had, she gave me homework. She told me to go and watch Thief because Michael Mann’s Thief had been a big inspiration to her, which I’m sure she mentioned to you. I’d never seen the film before and saw so much of the inspiration for I’m Your Woman in it. Love that diner scene between Tuesday Weld and James Caan. It was really informative and also awoke that same frustration in me where a character that’s so interesting and dynamic as Tuesday Weld disappears partway through the film as soon as the action begins. I found myself also wanting to know what happened to her.

As an actress, what do you typically look for when deciding on a project while also working on a series?

Something that feels challenging and different. Amazing collaborators. I have a fairly limited amount of time between seasons to work on other projects. I’m very fortunate to have more of a choice than I did before starting to work on this show. It’s really important to me to be working with people whose art that I admire and on characters that feel rich and three dimensional.

Since you’re from the Chicago suburbs, do you have a favorite Chicago-set film?

Oh, man. It’s so hard to choose. The Batman movies were filmed in Chicago, right?

The first two Nolan films definitely were.

Yeah. Probably those. They feel like true Chicago—a love letter to Chicago. What about you?

My number one would probably be The Blues Brothers.

Oh, of course. Oh my God, yeah.

I discovered that one before I discovered Second City.

Oh, really?


Cool. Oh, man, I’m so glad that I got a chance to go to Second City before all of this. I’m so nervous about their future.

Same here. This is usually the time of year when The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel would be launching a new season on Amazon. I know you posted a shoe fitting in an Instagram story. How close is the new season to production and what do you imagine will be the biggest challenge with all the protocols in place?

We’re hoping that we’re about a little over a month out from production. We’re hoping to begin shooting in January. I think the biggest challenge will be maintaining the scope and the energy of the show. So much of the energy and the pacing of the show come from how big the world is and our brilliant background actors. I think about the Gaslight scenes and all the stand-up scenes in particular. We sometimes have hundreds of background actors in those scenes listening and they’re my scene partners. We feed off of each other’s energy and I’m nervous for how some of those things may have to change. I’m confident in this team that continues to raise the bar for itself every year—always had before this moment. If there was ever a group to rise to the challenge, it’s this one. I’m really excited to go back.

With performing on Mrs. Maisel, how often do people ask you to do stand-up outside of the show?

More often than I ever imagined as an actress who is not a comedian and who would never be brave enough to do that in real life. I’ve been so surprised. [Laughs] I’m going to make it as a compliment that people are buying what I’m selling on the show. But oh, man, I can’t—there are a few things that I would find scarier than putting myself on the line for a laugh like that.

So there’s no half-hour Rachel Brosnahan comedy special coming up on Comedy Central?

I would say likely no. [Laughs]

You’re also helping bid farewell to this year with executive producing and appearing in Yearly Departed on Amazon. What can fans look forward to seeing in the comedy special?

A group of badass women saying goodbye and fuck you to 2020. Some of the funniest women we know from Tiffany Haddish to Sarah Silverman to Patti Harrison to Ziwe, Natasha Rothwell, and Natasha Leggero. We are pinching ourselves at this amazing group of talented women because it’s so rare to see a comedy special featuring only women. I’m really, really excited for our audiences to be able to heal with us through collective laughter from this fucking dumpster fire of the year.

How does an Emmy winner manage to stay grounded?

I have great friends and family who wouldn’t have it any other way.

What did you turn to the most for comfort over the past year?

My dogs and The Great British Baking Show. Lots and lots of puppy cuddles. It’s impossible to look into a dog’s eyes and pet them and not feel better. The Great British Baking Show—they’re just so nice to reach her. They just love baking. We need a little bit more of that kindness out in the world

If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what would it be?

I would say to have fun moment to moment. I feel like I took myself very seriously at a young age. It’s not that serious. I feel like it’s an important reminder especially with getting to do what I do for a living. It’s supposed to be fun. I wish that I had been less afraid in every single moment and remember that that I got into this because it was fun.


I’m Your Woman begins streaming December 11, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video. Yearly Departed will premiere December 30, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.

The post ‘I’m Your Woman’ Star Rachel Brosnahan on Being Inspired by Michael Mann and Preparing to Film ‘The Marvelous Ms. Maisel’ Under Pandemic Restrictions [Interview] appeared first on /Film.