Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR Health

During Pandemic, Work Dries Up For Actors And Producers

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What does the pandemic mean for the actors and producers who work in movies and TV? We talked with Caroline Aaron. She plays Shirley Maisel, the mother-in-law on the comedy series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL")

CAROLINE AARON: (As Shirley Maisel) Ethan, I have potato leek. I have beef barley.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Nobody cares. Shut up.

AARON: (As Shirley Maisel) You shut up.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) You shut up.

AARON: (As Shirley Maisel) You shut up.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Aaron was supposed to be shooting the fourth season of the series right now. But...

AARON: First, we pushed back three weeks. Then, we were pushed back a month. The most recent update - we'll start preproduction in July, and we will start shooting in September.

INSKEEP: And life will be very different on set whenever the show finally does go back into production.

AARON: We shoot a lot of "Maisel" on location, but we also shoot it at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. Now, will the rules be that everybody has to have a separate vehicle to go in? Can you not put 10 people in a van anymore?

INSKEEP: Aaron feels lucky to still have work but is very worried about her colleagues on Broadway, like her friend Julie Halston.

JULIE HALSTON: Broadway will not be coming back, I do not think, for at least eight months to a year.

MARTIN: Halston has performed on Broadway for 30 years. Most recently, she was in the musical "Tootsie."

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADWAY MUSICAL, "TOOTSIE")

HALSTON: (As Rita Marshall, singing) I like what she's doing. This might be a thing. She's giving it feeling. She's making it sing. She's fun but profound.

MARTIN: Halston says every show that's idle can put hundreds of people out of work.

HALSTON: So we have designers. That might be 10 people. Then we have cast. That's another 20 people; crew - 30, 40; musicians and alternates, the house manager, the ushers, the merchandise people. We're now talking about a very small city.

MARTIN: Julie Halston is planning to do some shows on Zoom, and she's grateful, but she says it can't compare to the theater.

HALSTON: There is nothing like the sound of laughter in real time. It literally washes over your body. It is molecular.

MARTIN: Still, she says the show will go on. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: This story says The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will be going back into production starting in September. In fact, Amazon Prime says that no date has been set for the start of Season 4 production.]

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: May 4, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
This story says The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will be going back into production starting in September. In fact, Amazon Prime says that no date has been set for the start of Season 4 production.