As the titular Mrs. Maisel’s mother in Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino’s Amazon comedy, Marin Hinkle’s Rose Weissman at first glance appeared to be a prim and proper homemaker. In the second season, however, she got to explore a freer, more independent side: Sick of being taken for granted, she jetted off to Paris. Hinkle’s Rose came alive, getting back in touch with her artistic roots and showing where her comedian daughter undoubtedly got some of her talent, drive and wit.
Hinkle: “My theatrical training was actually not in stage and speaking words; it was dance. So I first found the courage in performing without speaking. When I got to college, that was when I did more theater, and I actually felt I was best when I wasn’t talking — because I could just be. So, I found I was gravitating towards characters that were responding to things, rather than taking initiative. I’d still much rather be in a scene and not talk, but in Amy Sherman-Palladino land, that’s not going to happen! It challenges me in all of the best ways.
“What was so great about Season 2 was instead of focusing on ‘What is my relationship to my daughter and what is her future?’, it became more important to focus on my own relationship to self and my own future. Midge says, ‘I’ve missed you,’ and Rose says, ‘I missed me, too,’ and that really was the kernel of, ‘What does it mean for Rose to find herself again?’
“I parallel that often with my own mothering. I have a teenage son, and what’s lucky in this particular generation is there was certainly more acceptance in being a working mother than there would have been in the late-1950s — but pretty much all of the time I’m focused on my kid. And it’s interesting as he now starts to have independence from me, which is what happened with Midge in that first season, because it creates a lot of similar questioning of the enmeshment I have with him that Rose had in Paris in [Season 2].
“I was alone in Paris without my family, and so I was discovering the city myself for the first week I was there. There is something about being in a foreign city, which is both an ability to give a rebirth to self, but it’s also lonely. Living in that little apartment and having the dog, it allowed for both of those things, and being able to mirror my own experience as Marin with what Rose was experiencing, I hope I was able to infiltrate into the character.
“The dinner was such a sweet scene, but it was a hilarious scene because Rose is in her most theatrical moment, and she’s showing off that she has no interest in caring that she’s a new person, even though her husband and daughter are both baffled by her. I love how much Rose took charge there. That was very new for me, too. I’m a lot more frightened of the world than she is. I had to find a way to have a higher status than I had been used to. Amy really infuses the energy that she wants in a character with how she presents and I just had to spin off of what she was offering. Amy really became my inspiration that day. The private space I would take and the mantra before I would shoot was ‘Rose is in charge. Rose is in the height of her power right now and feels like she’s unstoppable.’”