The third season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is set to debut Friday on Amazon Prime Video, and in advance of the big day ET Canada spoke with actor Will Vought, who’s joined the cast for the upcoming season.
As faithful viewers will recall, at the end of last season, Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) was invited to be the opening act for red-hot soul singer Shy Baldwin (LeRoy McClain), and the new season will see her hit the road with Shy and his band. Part of that includes a USO tour for members of the Armed Forces.
Vought, an NYC-based actor and standup comic, plays Major Buck Brillstein, the emcee and wannabe comedian who introduces the acts at these USO shows, and Vought admits shooting those scenes “broke records for the amount of background actors that were used on set an any time, almost exceeding a thousand people. So you can only imagine the pace and energy of what was going on.”
According to Vought, the new season “definitely kicks off with a bang right where season two left off,” and admits that his experience on the show has been a wild ride. “For me, it’s kind of like getting shot out of a cannon,” he says. “Alex Borstein and Rachel and everybody, this is their third season. For me, I’m showing up ad it’s like, boom, boom, boom and you are thrown into this Patek Philippe-Rolex machine that is moving at a very, very fast pace.”
For Vought, whose television credits include such series as “Bones”, “The Good Wife” and its sequel, “The Good Fight”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was unlike anything he’d done previously.
“It’s a huge production,” he marvels. “I’ve done episodic television. This is like you’re shooting ‘Star Wars’, whatever that’s like. It’s like you’re shooting a film… it is certainly like no other project that I have ever worked on.”
In his career as a standup comic, Vought has found himself performing in a variety of different situations, “anywhere between, you know, eight people in the West Village, who don’t speak English, to, this past Friday evening I was opening for my dear friend Wayne Brady at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City in the Howie Mandel Comedy Club, which I think is between 1,200 and 1,800 people.”
With “Maisel”, he explains, “the difference is, we’re creating a world. We’re creating a world of a specific decade, we’re creating a tone here.”
He credits the series’ exec producers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino for creating that very detailed world, which sprang from Sherman-Palladino’s imagination.
“A lot of times, the script that you get is not what you wind up shooting,” he explains. “And in the case of ‘Maisel’, Amy wrote and directed the season premiere, it is exactly the same. You are receiving a finished script that is almost exactly what you do end up shooting. The cadence can be compared to that of [Aaron] Sorkin. Amy is very specific in word choices. You have to be word perfect. For an actor — and I’m also a standup comedian, so it’s not beyond the scope when it comes to paraphrasing — but in this case, in this show, in this world, with the Palladinos, every single word matters.”
Having the Palladinos on the set throughout the process, he says, was invaluable for everyone. “As an actor, I loved working with her, because I love specifics. And she knows exactly what she wants. It’s her world. She’s created it. She can see it all in her mind, so as an actor you have the benefit of somebody who’s not only created the show, but has written the show, is directing the show. So you feel very supported. Like, the train is moving and let’s do it,” he says.
Vought also praises Mrs. Maisel herself, describing star Rachel Brosnahan as “delightful, warm and a consummate professional. She delivers every single take.”
As a comedian himself, Vought admits he was impressed with Brosnahan’s comedy chops, especially considering she’d never performed standup before taking the role.
“As a comedian and a fan of the show, you’d never know that Rachel is not a comedian,” he says. “Her performance is — obviously Emmy-winning, two-time Golden Globe-winning actress — but her timing, her pacing, playing a female comedian in the ’50s… she is incredible.”
So what can viewers expect from the new season? Vought won’t offer any spoilers, but promises that “fans are in for a real ride this season, and an evolution, and a journey where things are revealed and it’s just propelling itself to the next level. There’s more story to tell here, there’s so much more evolution to take place, and I know that the fans are so eager to find out what happens with [Midge], what happens with Susie, there are all those unresolved things, and the Palladinos are absolutely going to deliver.”
Adds Vought: “I think it’s gonna be a great season and I think fans are really going to enjoy it.”
The third season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” premieres Friday, Dec. 6.