As the quirky college professor and scientist Abe Weissman, actor Tony Shalhoub has already garnered a SAG Award as part of Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel cast.
The actor chatted with us about working with co-star Rachel Brosnahan (the show’s star who also plays his daughter), what he likes most about playing Abe and his thoughts on Season 3.
What was it like having such a great awards season, particularly your SAG award win for male actor in a comedy series? TONY SHALHOUB: It’s thrilling. We worked really hard on season two. There was a lot of travel and big episodes. We felt so good about season one that we weren’t sure that we could match its success. Lo and behold, we feel like we surpassed that. It’s a really gratifying feeling.
What’s it like working with your co-stars? TS: I can’t remember when I’ve been in this kind of an ensemble. There’s a lot of mutual support and respect. Best of all, there’s enjoyment of the work and of each other. Even though the work is hard, the camaraderie is so strong. Our bonds are deep.
What do you like most about playing Abe Weissman? TS: He’s a very complicated but fun character to play. I think that he’s a fighter and that Midge is a fighter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I get the sense that Abe is always swimming upstream. He’s the kind of guy who thinks he has it all figured out but he really has very little. He’s got very little control over his world.
How do you think Abe would feel about the world today and all the advances in technology? TS: I think he would be fascinated since he is a man of science and technology. He would probably feel even to the extent that he could even predict some of these things happening. He was into the early computers. I think he would be really turned on by what we’re seeing today.
What do you hope happens with Abe in Season 3? TS: I try not to predict things or set my sights because I trust the writers so much. They’ve never disappointed us or have let us down. I think it’s more important to stay open and be ready to field anything that they throw at me.
Did anyone in particular inspire the way you play your role? TS: I guess there’s parts of my father in this and parts of me. I have two daughters around Midge’s age.
What is some of the best advice you’ve received in regards to your career? TS: Persevere. That was a good bit of wisdom I received as a student. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s always such a roller coaster, you have to be willing to ride it out.
Do you have any new projects coming up you’d like to share with us? TS: This Maisel thing is keeping me pretty busy! I used to spread myself more thinly. These days, I like to just focus on one thing at a time.