How To Get Cast on ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

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Photo Source: Nicole Rivelli

Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a comedy about a 1950s Jewish housewife, Miriam “Midge” Maisel, who is driven to try a career in standup comedy after her husband, Joel, abruptly leaves her for his secretary four years into their marriage. Although her first attempt at the craft was an accident, Midge pursues it and finds success. The show also explores her relationship with Joel and her family on New York City’s Upper West Side, as well as her growing partnership with her manager Susie Myerson. 

Season 4 was rumored to have an expected production start in spring 2020, but production restrictions due to COVID-19 shifted that timeline. The series is currently shooting in the New York City area through June 2021, with several available roles listed on Backstage. Here’s how to get cast on Season 4 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”—from open casting calls to audition tips from the show’s casting directors and stars.

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“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Plot Summary

Season 1 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” follows Midge as she navigates her sudden separation and the toll it takes on her family while she decides whether or not comedy is something she wants to commit to. In Season 2, Midge and her family travel to the Catskill Mountains for summer vacation while Midge continues to perform comedy and meets a new love interest, Benjamin. Her family finds out about her budding comedy career when it begins to gain momentum. Season 3 follows Midge on tour while she opens for musician Shy Baldwin. The show was renewed by Amazon for a fourth season in December 2019, just a week after the third season premiered.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the creators of “Gilmore Girls” and “Bunheads.” They also serve as executive producers and showrunners, and have directed the majority of the episodes. The pilot filmed in New York City during late 2016 and early 2017, premiered on Amazon Prime in March 2017 and the series earned a pickup shortly after.

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When does filming for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 4 start?

Filming for Season 4 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was allegedly set to begin in spring 2020, but that timeline shifted significantly due to COVID-19. The show began shooting in the NYC area in January 2021, with plans to continue through June.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Auditions + Open Casting Calls

If you’re interested in auditioning for Season 4 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” you can find several active casting calls here on Backstage:

  • Real Couples (Background): Grant Wilfley Casting is seeking real same-sex female couples, aged 18 and older, for background roles. COVID-19 tests must be taken on March 22 and 23 with filming on March 24 in New York City. Pay is $210 for 12 hours of work with a $60 stipend for testing. Union rates apply for union members. Apply here.
  • 1960s Types (Background): Background casting continues for the upcoming fourth season of the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Talent, aged 18 and older, is wanted. Talent must be comfortable receiving a period-specific haircut/style or otherwise follow hairstyle requirements. Filming will take place between January and June in New York City. Pay is $210 for 12 hours of work, plus a $60 stipend for a COVID-19 test. Apply here.

Interested in auditioning for another Amazon project or period piece? Check out our list of projects similar to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” that are currently casting. 

Though there have been no public casting calls for Season 4 lead roles, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing new faces when the series returns. Keep in mind that for larger speaking roles—series regular, recurring, guest star, co-star, contract—you’ll likely need to go through your agent. Don’t have an agent? Here’s how to get one.

Calls for “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Extras + Background Actors

Orlando-based Melanie Moreno of Frontrunner Casting and New York City-based Jacqueline Snyder of Grant Wilfley Casting are the casting directors for all background actors on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” There are currently several active calls for Season 4 background talent:

1960s Types

  • All genders and ethnicities
  • 18+
  • No visible tattoos or wool allergies
  • Men must be willing to get a 1960s haircut (if needed) and be clean-shaven
  • Women must have natural-looking hair (no bright colors, braids, undercuts, ombre, etc.) that's shorter than shoulder-length

Real-Life Female Same-Sex Couples

  • Female, 18+
  • All ethnicities
  • Real-life couples who can be in close proximity to one another on-camera without taking COVID-related safety precautions 
  • Hair must be shorter than shoulder-length (or it will be cut by the hair department)
  • No unnatural hair colors or modern hairstyles like undercuts or ombrés
  • No visible tattoos 

Be sure to check Frontrunner Casting and Grant Wilfley Casting’s websites for additional updates and open calls. Since “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” shoots in New York City, it is helpful to be local to the area. Because background work often does not include relocation or travel stipends, being a local hire is crucial for getting repeat work as an extra. 

Past Backstage casting calls for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” background talent have included:

Who is in the cast of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”?

In its first three seasons, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has starred: 

  • Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel
  • Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson
  • Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman
  • Marin Hinkle as Rose Weissman
  • Michael Zegen as Joel Maisel
  • Kevin Pollak as Moishe Maisel
  • Caroline Aaron as Shirley Maisel
  • Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce
  • Bailey De Young as Imogene Cleary
  • Joel Johnstone as Archie Cleary
  • Matilda Szydagis as Zelda
  • Cynthia Darlow as Mrs. Moskowitz
  • Brian Tarantina as Jackie
  • Jane Lynch as Sophie Lennon
  • Zachary Levi as Benjamin Ettenberg
  • LeRoy McClain as Shy Baldwin
  • Stephanie Hsu as Mei

Who is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” casting director?

Season 1 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was cast by Jeanie Bacharach, Meredith Tucker, and Cindy Tolan. Tolan worked solo for Seasons 2 and 3. Her previous experience includes casting “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” 

Though Rachel Brosnahan has cemented herself as an iconic casting choice, things could have looked a lot different for the Amazon series. While Bacharach tells Backstage that she “actually thought of Rachel when I read the script,” creators Sherman-Palladino and Palladino didn’t care about finding a big name—and that meant auditions. “Amy and Dan’s writing is so particular that they weren’t comfortable making an offer [without an audition],” Bacharach explains. Brosnahan auditioned late into the process, but she was the obvious choice for the role. 

“The concern was that Rachel didn’t have a lot of comedy experience,” Bacharach explains. “But when she read, the big drunken monologue was part of the audition process for Mrs. Maisel, and she nailed it in a way that other people had not found. Even though comedy is not as much her background, she’s smart enough to understand where the comedy is and to make the adjustment. She’s so trained that she understands text and language and the importance of language, which for Amy is key to her pages and pages of dialogue.”

Bacharach also imagined Alex Borstein in the role of Susie Myerson from the start, but “Amy had originally seen Susie and Midge as the same age or closer in age.” Still, after seeing actors who fit the character breakdown, the creators decided to go with Bacharach’s instinct. Alex “can break your heart—her ability to be vulnerable was, I think, important for Susie’s overall journey,” says Bacharach. “She wasn’t just this wiseass tough lady, but had sacrificed things in her own life to be where she is, for better or for worse.” Through the audition, it was clear she was Susie. “She read with Rachel, and magic was born. Usually, you think of chemistry reads as being for love interests, but their chemistry was very important and it was pretty apparent from the get-go.”

Audition Tips for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Ready to audition for Season 4 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”? Check out these audition tips from the show’s creators and casting directors to make sure you walk into the audition room prepared.

Think long-term. “Make the most of every audition, whether it be for a project like ‘Maisel’ or not. Be prepared, do the homework going into the room, and think about going into that audition to win the room and not the role. Only one person can get the job, but a CD isn’t only ever casting just that role, they’re casting parts they don’t even know exist yet. The CD is going to remember people who come in and do good work even if they didn’t get the job, so make the most of it. Think about longevity and not just landing that part that you’re going in to read. Trust that if you’ve done great work, the CD is going to remember you for other things.”—Jeanie Bacharach, casting director

Accept that you won’t be right for every part. “The thing about casting is that you do want to find the person for the part. If there is something that is right about you for the role, and if your choice was maybe not the choice that’s best going to tell the story that the director or the writer wants, then you make an adjustment. I will sit there and I will work with actors, but there’s so much about casting the part that you as an actor cannot be everything. You cannot twist yourself into a pretzel and say, ‘But I could have been this.’ There are so many factors that go into casting that the actor is not privy to that the actor just has to feel good about what they did in the room and then leave it in the room.” —Cindy Tolan, casting director 

Sometimes it pays to be a little cocky. “We were extremely intrigued because [Brosnahan] didn’t have any comedy on her résumé. To say, ‘I’m going to play not just a comedic part but a comedian,’ that takes a lot of hubris, which we like, and a lot of confidence. And that’s how she came in.” —Dan Palladino, creator

Collaboration is key. “We will not offer it to anyone [without an audition]. We have to know that it’s going to be a collaboration. It’s setting someone up to fail if they’re not in a good work environment. This is not an audition as in ‘you’re good, you’re bad.’ It’s ‘How are we going to take this journey together?’ ” —Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator

Check out Backstage’s TV audition listings!

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