Brosnahan also weighs in on those viral clips from Quibi’s ’50 States of Fright’ installment, “The Golden Arm.”
Rachel Brosnahan has accomplished quite a bit over the years including scoring two Emmy nominations and one win for her work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but her new feature, I’m Your Woman, calls for Brosnahan to rise to new challenges in a number of respects. Not only is much of the story on her shoulders, but it also marks Brosnahan’s very first producer credit.
She leads I’m Your Woman as Jean. Jean knows her husband Eddie (Bill Heck) is a thief, but that’s the extent of it. Soon after Eddie strangely brings home a baby for them to raise as their own, Jean’s rushed out of the home late at night and taken to a safe house with no explanation of why. So now not only is Jean a new and very hesitant single mother, but their lives are being threatened and she knows nothing of Eddie’s fate.
Brosnahan has loads of chemistry with everyone in the film including Arinzé Kene and Marsha Stephanie Blake, but Jean’s growth is largely tied to her connection with baby Harry. Given how many scenes they share together in the film, I had to ask, how much of I’m Your Woman involves a fake baby? Here’s what Brosnahan said:
“I have never been a part of something that involved children and babies where we used the fake baby so little. It was incredibly ambitious. But Julia and I spoke a lot – particularly Julia – about how important having the baby present was for this film, because while we talk so much about this being a journey that Jean undergoes, it’s really a partnership. It’s a developing of their relationship and it’s a journey that they largely undergo together. So being able to see the baby’s face and being able to watch the baby grow – we actually shot primarily in chronological order so you literally get to watch this baby grow up before your eyes. It was extraordinary, but holy shit was it hard!”
That challenge pays off big time in the final film, but there were instances when Brosnahan and co. had to make significant adjustments to accommodate their commitment to working with real babies. Here’s one example:
“It happened every single day, but the biggest example because we were concerned about what the story implications of it would be is that there’s a scene with Jean and Cal in the diner where Jean sort of spills her guts to Cal and finally lets him in and lets him know who she is. And one of the things she talks about is her lack of confidence in her relationship with Harry, but mentions that she sings to him and there was a scene in the film before that scene where you saw Jean singing to Harry and you saw how capable she was and how close they were before she realizes it. And we felt that that was important for the audience to get to see it and understand that even though they can and everyone else can, that Jean can’t see it herself. But that day, the babies were not having it. [Laughs] We tried over the course of a couple of different days to get that scene and they just were not into my singing.”
The end result of all of this? They actually wound up cutting the scene. But it turns out, a new version of that beat unexpectedly scored a place later on in the movie:
“There was a day much later in the film, we were shooting in the cabin, it was a late night, the babies were kind of tired but in a good mood, and we were messing around and I just started humming ‘Natural Woman’ and our DP picked up the camera and pointed it at us and the baby was – I forget which one we were working with that day. Probably Justin – but the baby was sort of reaching for me and interacting with me in a way that we only could have hoped for then and somehow later in the film felt even more powerful.”
If you’d like to hear more from Brosnahan about her experience making I’m Your Woman and her thoughts on clips from Quibi’s “The Golden Arm” going viral, you can check out our full chat at the top of this article! I’m Your Woman is available to watch now on Prime Video.
- Brosnahan addresses the challenge of finding confidence in her work.
- Brosnahan on what Marsha Stephanie Blake does as a scene partner that she wishes happened more often.
- How often did they use a fake baby on I’m Your Woman?
- An example of a time when working with real babies required last minute changes.
- Brosnahan on what surprised her most about producing her first feature film.
- Brosnahan addresses the viral clip from Quibi’s “The Golden Arm.”
“He absolutely shreds himself in the movie.”
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