Major thing that surprises Mrs Maisel star’s fans
They say there's no such thing as an overnight success story, but the force with which Rachel Brosnahan dazzled her way into the pop culture consciousness in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is enough to make anyone's head spin.
After a succession of guest spots and cameo parts, most notably playing a prostitute in acclaimed Netflix drama series, House Of Cards, the 29-year-old would break through - and how - as a Jewish housewife turned stand up sensation Miriam 'Midge' Maisel in the cult Amazon Prime comedy.
The role would earn her an Emmy award and two Golden Globes, beating out more established comic queens - including Allison Janney, Lily Tomlin and Julia Louis Dreyfus - to cement her spot in Hollywood.
Trophies and plaudits aside, Maisel won Brosnahan the approval of her parents, who she says were never quite sure their girl would make a real go of this acting game.
"My parents finally believe that my college tuition, my BFA [Bachelor of Fine Arts] in drama, is well spent," she says, with a laugh.
"They realise now that this is a career and not a hobby. And mostly, they're relieved beyond belief that I'm not making theatre in a basement somewhere … or waiting tables."
But if they're convinced, Brosnahan herself still can't quite believe her good fortune in landing such a career-defining role.
"It's been exciting and strange and nerve-racking, in both positive and negative ways," Brosnahan says.
"It's been a trip that I don't think I'll be able to properly articulate until about 10 years from now when I can look back on this time as a whole. I'm still in the centre of it right now, so it's hard for me to step outside of it and look at it."
The adventure continues with the third season of Mrs Maisel taking the show on the road - with Midge taking up an offer from singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) to join him on a tour of Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas.
"We couldn't shoot in Vegas because Vegas looks nothing like it did in the 1950s," Brosnahan explains, "so we built our own casino inside a large building in Queens, New York.
With a nudge and a wink, she adds, "it turns out, the Vegas on our show was more enjoyable than the Vegas I've experienced" - recounting her own girls trip gone awry to Sin City.
"I went there when I was in college. And I have to admit, I was totally overwhelmed. We got into some serious shenanigans," she confesses.
"I turned in [to bed] before my friends and woke up in the morning and no one was there."
As she would later discover, "my friends had found a girl on the floor of a club and taken her to a hospital."
The show's heroine, Midge, is loosely based on creator Amy Sherman-Palladino's father who performed stand-up in the Catskills, New York, but it is most certainly Brosnahan's easy charm and small screen spark that has struck a chord with audiences.
"I hear this a lot, that the world is pretty f*cking dark right now and this show is light, funny and beautiful, so it's a bit of an escape."
"And also, people respond to Midge's journey. This is a woman whose life entirely crumbled [when her husband left her for his secretary] and she picked herself back up and pursued a brand new dream, pretty fearlessly and relentlessly," she says. "Young women in particular, find that story inspiring, and other people love the nostalgia factor."
Helping Brosnahan to conjure up Midge and bring the 1950s alive is her extraordinary wardrobe, designed by Donna Zakowska - a covetable collection of cocktail frocks, cashmere coats and glorious hats that would make a Melbourne Cup socialite swoon.
Adding to the show's appeal, the new season cast will including Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, The People v O.J. Simpson) and Jane Lynch, aka Sue Sylvester from Glee.
Although Brosnahan plays a Jewish New Yorker with vivid authenticity, her background couldn't be more different, leaving fans perpetually surprised.
"Midge and I have almost nothing in common, which is one of the things I find very exciting about this job and this story. Midge is a native New Yorker, I'm not; Midge is a mother, which is something that I've also never experienced; and Midge is a stand-up and I've never done comedy. We come from completely different backgrounds but I was so fortunate early on in my life to have been lovingly educated within a predominantly Jewish community that I was raised in. So in a wonderful, wonderful way, a lot of the stuff that we deal with on the show actually wasn't new."
The eldest daughter of a British mother, Carol and American father, Earl Brosnahan, who worked in children's publishing, she was also the niece of the late designer Kate Spade - named as the face of Spade's accessories label, Frances Valentine, earlier this year.
Perhaps taking heed of her aunt's difficult relationship with public life, Brosnahan has long been fiercely protective of her private life - taking some years to confirm her 2016 marriage to actor Jason Ralph.
The only detail she's prepared to share is just where she's got those prized industry awards stored - a quirky twist from a humble star.
"Once I'd heard that another actor, who I really love has a shelf in their bathroom where they keep all their awards, I thought that sounded like a nice place to keep them, where you can enjoy them privately," she laughs.
"So when people come to visit, they can take toilet selfies with my Golden Globes!"
* The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, streaming now on Amazon Prime Video