Editor’s Note: The following are spoilers for Season 5 Episode 8 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
We’re almost at the end The Wonderful Mrs Maisel. The period comedy drama follows the life of the titular Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) who went from being a housewife in the late 1950s to a stand-up comic in New York. Early in her career, Midge met the famous Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), a fictionalized version of a real-life comedian. Midge and Lenny had instant chemistry together, and Lenny acted like a mentor to Midge during her thriving early career. The season 4 finale saw the two characters consummate their relationship after four seasons of building chemistry.
But now that the series is drawing to a close, it feels like Lenny has been missing the entire season. Still, we spoke to Luke Kirby about his timing The Wonderful Mrs Maisel and his perspective on Midge and Lenny’s relationship. He gives us insight into where Lenny is at in his life. If you know any of Lenny Bruce’s true history, you know that it’s important to keep an eye on these years of his life. Kirby also spoke about aspects of Lenny’s life that he wished he had more time to explore, and who he would like to share the screen with in case there were more episodes.
Check out our full interview on video or read about it below.
COLLIDER: I really enjoyed talking to you, Lenny is one of my favorite characters on this show, and you play him so well. I’ve seen all of these episodes, except for the last one, and I can tell you’re not in season enough, and I’m sad to see it! But jumping into Lenny’s character, can you talk a little bit about where Lenny’s head is at this season and how he’s coping with what’s going on with him and Midge?
LUKE KIRBY: Lenny dives deeper into his litigation life, which is a mirror image of what happened to the real Lenny Bruce. It’s a heavy burden, and I think at the same time he’s looking for ways to help cover up or heal some of the pain he’s going through because of it, and because of, of course, other things, so he’s maybe a little bit deeper. addiction. And in some ways, things were just beginning… he had become so submerged under it that seeing Midge was always a moment of levity for him.
You know, she’s always kind of… during these shows she sees the light inside of her, and that’s all she reflects back, and they’re able to reflect it back and forth and have such beautiful beautiful empaths. But I think when they bumped into each other at the airport, you know, there was a kind of sign that her ability to bounce back was tempered a little bit by the other level of exhaustion she had to deal with.
Is there an aspect of Lenny Bruce’s life that you wish you could explore if you had more time?
KIRBY: Well, I mean, in terms of his mythology, of course, there’s a lot of his performances that are interesting, and they generate controversy. There are couples that are very interesting to me, one of which takes place in London, England. There was this amazing show he did in Australia that I thought, you know, Lenny in the Outback would make a great bottle episode, as they called it. There are many for sure.
It’s been a joy and a privilege to explore him in any capacity, but I have to be endlessly fascinated by the man, and he’s been so good to me. He’s a friend I won’t be giving up anytime soon.
I think a lot of people love this series, and a lot of people enjoy the relationship that Lenny and Midge have between these two characters. Were you surprised by the reaction, and why do you think people are so attracted to the relationship?
KIRBY: It was surprising because, you know, coming to the show, I really thought I was doing a pilot. I was totally blown away by the pilot the way it was, but I didn’t think that it would invite him back. I thought, “Oh, maybe every episode is going to have some historical figure they’re going to touch on,” but being invited back was so interesting and amazing. I mean, it’s amazing to be able to play in this delusion. This is a really fun show to be a part of.
And in terms of why people like him, I think I mean, hopefully, for the same reasons I like Lenny and Midge together; it’s just the way friends. When you see two friends get together, but the combination is right, you feel like you can sometimes see the light come out of people when they connect, and that’s just a beautiful thing. I’m glad it worked out for Midge and Lenny, you know?
Yeah, you guys have great chemistry on screen, so I think that’s what makes it so addicting. You guys have done great with this series. With this event over, is there a particular aspect of this event that you missed the most?
KIRBY: I really admired everyone in it, especially our cast, it’s been a really fun gang to know over the years. And I’m in a really great position to pop up a few days a month here and there and say hi, and then head off again for a long nap. The rhythm is very good. Also, only filming in New York City and our studio is where I can ride my bike to work. All of those things are just so enchanting, so enchanting.
I guess I’ll miss it all, but most of all just seeing the gang together. They were the guys doing all the work, I had to come and lick it every now and then and dance a bit. So, I’m really grateful for them, and I’ll miss that.
Speaking of the cast, was there someone specific on the series that you didn’t have a scene that you wish you could have?
KIRBY: I’d love to do something with Joel. I admire Michael Zegen, and he was a great friend for many years. We could throw the ball at each other or something, I don’t know.
I think that’s going to be an interesting dynamic between you two.
KIRBY: Yeah, I’m sure they’ll find their way.
Looking at the end of this series, since I have no idea what’s going to happen, I wonder what you could tease for Lenny’s ending on this show, and if he’ll find closure with Midge, or if we’ll see anything of the sort?
KIRBY: My lips are tightly closed, that’s what I have to say. What can I flirt with? You will see something!
You know what? I appreciate that. I really respect that and I understand there’s a lot you can’t give. Being a part of an event like this, especially a longer running one, whether you have a big lesson or one that you learned from filming Maisel?
KIRBY: I mean, stay hydrated and plan your day accordingly, take as many naps as you can, and be prepared.