THE MARVELOUS KAYLI CARTER

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Amazon’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took TV land by storm because of its brilliant portrayal of the other side of a“perfect” life in modern Americana. Lead character Rachel Brosnahan’s character journey was a cathartic adventure for women everywhere. Four seasons later we are still on the ride with  Mrs. Maisel and celebrating her kookiness and drive throughout the seasons.  Kayli Carter has been a nice addition to the dynamic series as Gloria, a character who was kept under tight lock and key until revealing what an arc she has the potential to be in the future. 

We chat with Kayli about her much-talked-about role in the series and more..

Tell us about the audition process for Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

 

The role was being recast, and it needed to happen pretty quickly, so I met on zoom with our lovely casting associates. On the page, it wasn’t clear how many episodes Gloria would be recurring in, but that she was essential for getting Midge to The Wolford, and embarking on this new endeavor. The role grew as Amy and Dan were writing the season, so my guess is that they were pleased with how Gloria was turning out.

 

What has it been like as a recurring character on the show?

 

I felt so welcomed on this set. Rachel and I already knew each other, so chemistry and shorthand was the main impulse I followed, and on such a specific show like Maisel, having someone who is so well-versed with its rhythm as my tour guide was valuable. 

 

What made you want to be an actor?

 

The appeal for me has been getting to experience all these different lives in one lifetime. I’m a curious person by nature and human behavior is my main source of fascination, so I followed that thread. I mean, it was very clear in High School Theater even that some people were there to do an extracurricular activity, and I took it so seriously, that was an indicator as well. 

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What is the most embarrassing moment you had on set?

I guess this is less a specific story, and more my general ethos, which is that I am unafraid to embarrass myself when it comes to acting. In a comedy like Maisel, embarrassing yourself comes with the territory. You have to be willing to look like a total schmuck in service of the story and a laugh. IE, my Stripper Bo-Peep ensemble.

 

What would be your dream role and director?

 

I’ll just put this out into the universe. I’d be a damn fine choice for Janis Joplin. In terms of Directors, my list is long. Paul Thomas Anderson, Jane Campion, Lynne Ramsay. I’ve worked with Janicza Bravo before, but I would follow her into a burning building. 

 

What is the most challenging thing about being an actor in today’s world?

 

I’m struggling with the disconnection of today’s audition process. I think it’s hard to tell from a self-tape whether the human you’re sending to set is an actor who is skilled in being directed if they have what it takes to fully go there. I’m a person who wins jobs in the room, and I pride myself on the energy and work ethic I bring to a set. I do worry that folks aren’t getting that from a ring light and 7 pages of sides. Luckily I have built solid relationships with Casting Directors, but I miss them. I miss collaborating with them.

 

If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?

 

I’m a firm believer that if the script is great, and the team is great, the best actors should be cast regardless of their “financial viability”. I think we put such an emphasis on making sure we’ve got big starry names, and I think corporations care more about that than audiences. The bottom line often factors into this art form, more than I wish it would. 

 

Is there any noticeable change in Hollywood since “Me Too”, “Times Up” etc?

 

I have a hard time with this question… Because I don’t think progress is linear. You’ve got nearly 200 years of men deciding what stories are worth telling, and that’s not something that goes away because we as an industry develop a quota to fill, and toss out some predators. It’s like many other issues we have as a society, It’s in the water we’re all swimming in.

 

What is something you have to watch out for?

 

I have a pretty good spidey sense for inauthentic people. That’s something I pride myself on, and I think it works as a magnet for the type of artists I like to surround myself with. I take my work seriously, but not myself, and I need those like-minded comrades.

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You have worked with some A-freaking list actors. What is Hugh Jackman like?

 

They say he’s the nicest man in Hollywood for a reason. He’s as genuinely nice as folks say, and I am such a fan of his work in Bad Education. I’ve gotten to work with geniuses, actual Cate Blanchett-level geniuses, and I’m just hoping that it rubs off on me. 

 

What is your favorite medium to act in?

 

I’m missing theater at the moment fiercely, but I’ve found a real connection to working on Limited Series Television. The length of the arc allows me to go deep with a character, but there are some characters that I’d not want to explore season after season. I’m patiently waiting for a job that makes me want to hang on to a character for years. 

 

How do you remember your lines?

 

Everyone always thinks memorizing lines is the hardest part, which makes me laugh because it’s the thing I think about the least. I’m very lucky that my partner is also an actor and will indulge me in running lines till we’re both blue in the face. 

 

What did you think you would do when you were a kid?

 

My mother says that I thought I’d be President of The United States or an actor, and given the current state of affairs, I think I made the right call. Although in 6th Grade I was voted most likely to be in public office, so I’m really betraying my calling by putting on costumes and pretending to be other people.

 

What was your big break?

 

Tamara Jenkins’ film ‘Private Life’ definitely changed the game for me. Having someone of her caliber of auteur see my potential and ask me to do what I’m capable of as an actor, was a vote of confidence that has stayed with me. It’s all about a series of breaks though. I currently have a tiny hammer and I’m trying to create the next break, but the glass is thick, and it takes finesse.

 

Tell us about the last dream you remember.

 

I’m one of those people who doesn’t ever remember their dreams! I’m sure I have them, but when I wake up they dematerialize. I guess the positive thing is that I get to attempt and live out my dreams when I’m awake.

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