Who Is Rachel Brosnahan?
Rachel Brosnahan began acting in her teens in both film and television before landing the role as Genevieve Katherine Duchannes in the goth-fantasy film Beautiful Creatures in 2013. She made an even bigger impression when she starred as the ill-fated prostitute Rachel Posner on House of Cards between 2013-2015. However, her most famous role to date is playing dutiful Jewish wife-turned-comedienne Midge Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2018.
Early Life and Parents
Born on July 12, 1990, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brosnahan was the oldest child of three to a British mother and an American father who worked at a children's publishing company. Brosnahan's aunt was designer Kate Spade. Raised in Highland Park, Illinois, Brosnahan began showing a serious interest in acting after performing in musicals at Northwood Junior High School.
"She is very self-motivated and always has been," Brosnahan's mother Carol Brosnahan said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "She wanted to teach herself from the beginning. She did it all on her own, and we were really just in the background."
The budding actress attended Broadway bootcamp as a teen and graduated from Highland Park High School before finishing her education at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2012.
Movies and TV Shows
While in high school, Brosnahan made her film debut in Michael Bay's horror flick The Unborn (2009). From there she appeared in small roles on various network television shows such as Gossip Girl, CSI: Miami, In Treatment, The Good Wife and Orange Is the New Black before landing recurring roles on shows like The Black List and House of Cards.
A year later, the actress took on the role of Abby Isaacs in WGN America's Manhattan, as well as the character Ellie in Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes. Concerning the latter project, Brosnahan later went on the record with The Hollywood Reporter saying she regrets working with the famed director due to the sexual allegations surrounding him.
“Honestly, it’s the decision that I have made in my life that is the most inconsistent with everything I stand for and believe in, both publicly and privately,” she said. “And while I can’t take it back, it’s important to me, moving forward, to make decisions that better reflect the things that I value and my worldview.”
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'
However, it was when Brosnahan landed the titular role of Miriam "Midge" Maisel — a 1950s dutiful Jewish housewife who realizes she has a flair for comedy — on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, that Hollywood realized she was a forced to be reckoned with. Inspired by the lives of trailblazing comediennes Joan Rivers and Totie Fields, the show was not only a hit for Amazon, but Brosnahan would also win a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for her work on the series.
"This is a story about a bold and brilliant and complicated woman, and I am so endlessly proud to be a part of it, but there are so many women's stories out there that still need and deserve to be told," the actress said during her acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Although there has been much public curiosity on whether Brosnahan is actually Jewish (she is not), she says she's very familiar with the culture. "I’ve spent more time in a temple than I ever have in a church," she told the Chicago Tribune, adding: "I spent so many Shabbat dinners with friends. I’ve probably been to 150 bar mitzvahs.”
Outside of her nominations and subsequent wins for Mrs. Maisel, Brosnahan was previously nominated for an Emmy for her supporting role as Rachel Posner in House of Cards, as well as a SAG Award for the show in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series category.
In 2015, Brosnahan met actor Jason Ralph while the two were working on the television series Manhattan together. Ever since then, they've been an item but have kept their relationship private. The couple wear bands on their ring fingers but have not confirmed whether or not they are married.
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