“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” doesn’t lack for complex set pieces, but crafting a scene with more than 1,000 extras proved to be a particular challenge.
“It’s really about what was available. What are we going to get our hands on,” costume designer Donna Zakowska told IndieWire’s Chris O’Falt in a recent video panel. “We work with a lot of extras and our scenes are really quite large. It’s a mad, insane rush for us in the costume department to actually get those scenes up and running, costumed, and get all those people into those clothes. It’s a tour de force moment.”
Zakowska, “Maisel” cinematographer David Mullen, and production designer Bill Groom recently discussed their work on the Amazon Prime Video series with IndieWire in an exclusive video that is available above.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which follows a housewife-turned-comedian as she rises in the ranks of stand-up comedy, was an immediate hit on Amazon’s streamer when Season 1 debuted in early 2017. Two additional seasons have been released since then, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has continued to receive praise, particularly for its vivid sets and colorful costumes.
As a period piece set in the 1950s and ’60s, ensuring all the settings in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are as historically accurate as they are visually evocative is no small feat, but it’s a balancing act that Zakowska, Mullen, and Groom are well-suited for. The trio have been working on the comedy series since its inception, and their work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Zakowska, Mullen, and Groom were each nominated for an Emmy for their work on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in 2018, and the former two won Emmys in 2019. Groom, whose work on the series earned him an Emmy nomination last year, previously earned four Emmys for art direction and production design on “Boardwalk Empire.”
The trio’s work has also been widely praised outside Emmy voting circles. Zakowska has won two Costume Designer Guilds of America awards for excellence in period television for her work on the series, while Groom is a two-time winner of the Art Directors Guild’s excellence in production design award. Mullen received two nominations for outstanding achievement in cinematography for his work on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
All three seasons of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.