Rachel Brosnahan stars in Woody Allen‘s first foray into television – Amazon’s limited series Crisis in Six Scenes.

Rachel Brosnahan Video On ‘Crisis In Six Scenes’

In Crisis in Six Scenes, Brosnahan plays a conservative well-educated young woman named Ellie, who is engaged to John Magaro‘s character Alan. Since Alan is a houseguest of Sidney (Allen) and Kay (Elaine May) for the summer, Ellie finds herself there as well. And, with the help of Miley Cyrus‘s character Lennie, finds some of her conservative beliefs challenged.

Part of playing Ellie required Brosnahan to get a new hairdo, which proved to be a more difficult process that she had expected. “We were trying to find the right hair color for this character, and I had sat in the salon for 11 hours while they lifted the color of my hair and made it this 60s kind of golden blond color, very single toned, and it was almost right, but on camera it looked a little funny,” Brosnahan told uInterview.

In the end, they opted for a wig. Though the crew was concerned about how Allen would feel about it, he was more concerned about Brosnahan’s thoughts.

“I walked in with my makeup done and my hair on and they were like, ‘What do you think?’ and he looked at me and he went, ‘Do you like it?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I like it. Do you like it?’ and the he was like, ‘Well, I just want you to be happy?’” Brosnahan revealed.

Brosnahan has no shortage of good things to say about working with the legendary director on his first TV project.

“I feel like I always become incredibly inarticulate when I try and talk about what this experience was like. Zero chill is a pretty good phrasing,” said Brosnahan, adding, “It was a dream. I mean, I grew up watching Woody Allen movies, my parents love Woody Allen movies. Annie Hall is a favorite of mine, and to be able to work with him is truly a dream I didn’t even know I had. It was never even on my radar.”

Though Brosnahan and Cyrus didn’t have many scenes together, the two got to get to know one another in hair and makeup. During her time with the pop star, Brosnahan developed a deep respect for her work ethic, and believes it’s unfortunate that she’s not thought of as more of a role model.

“She works so hard, she’s extremely passionately committed to everything that she puts her mind to, everything that inspires her, and this was no different. […] I think she’s very talented, and she’s so down to earth,” Brosnahan revealed. “Hearing her talk about the things that are important to her… I mean if she’s talking about sometimes doing her own makeup for her concerts or getting on a plane with zit cream on her face because it’s real and because she’s like, ‘I have a zit so I’m gonna put something on, so I don’t have it anymore,’ and letting her young audience know that it’s important to be themselves.”

With Allen in the director’s chair, Cyrus, Magaro and others rounding out the talented cast, Crisis in Six Scenes proved to be an experience that Brosnahan won’t soon forget.

“[Woody] was genuinely concerned with everybody having a good time, that it was an enjoyable experience — and it was,” Brosnahan told uInterview. “It’s a room full of extraordinary talents, who were so genuinely thrilled to be there. The creativity poured out of the doors of this house we were shooting in and we were home by dinner almost every night. We’ve been spoiled rotten. You don’t get that experience very often. It really was a joy.”


Q: Who is your character in the series? -

Well, as you know, it’s a little bit shroud in secrecy, so I can’t give very much, but I play a woman, Ellie, and Ellie is engaged to Alan, who is a houseguest of Woody and Elaine’s characters for the summer. She is a young, fairly well off, conservative young woman who is very well educated and through the series I think you see — I think you see with all of them a little bit — you see her belief system being challenged and her world view possibly being expanded a little bit.

Q: What was it like working with Woody Allen? -

I feel like I always become incredibly inarticulate when I try and talk about what this experience was like. Zero chill is a pretty good phrasing. It was a dream. I mean, I grew up watching Woody Allen movies, my parents love Woody Allen movies. Annie Hall is a favorite of mine, and to be able to work with him is truly a dream I didn’t even know I had. It was never even on my radar, and so it was an incredible experience. Then, to look up to somebody so much and to have been inspired by his work for so long and then to meet him and he was so kind and generous with us throughout the course of this project. He really hires people that he trusts and really gave us the room we needed to play and to experiment and that’s a real dream as well.

Q: Did Woody Allen give you any peculiar notes about your character? -

Yeah, there was a moment earlier on where we were trying to find the right hair color for this character, and I had sat in the salon for 11 hours while they lifted the color of my hair and made it this 60s kind of golden blond color, very single toned, and it was almost right, but on camera it looked a little funny. So, when we did our camera tests it wasn’t quite right, so we ended up going with a wig, and there was a lot of fussing to make sure the wig was perfect, as you would want it to be before we showed it to Woody. I walked in with my makeup done and my hair on and they were like, ‘What do you think?’ and he looked at me and he went, ‘Do you like it?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I like it. Do you like it?’ and the he was like, ‘Well, I just want you to be happy?’ I think that really summed it up for me in a way. He was genuinely concerned with everybody having a good time, that it was an enjoyable experience — and it was. It’s a room full of extraordinary talents, who were so genuinely thrilled to be there. The creativity poured out of the doors of this house we were shooting in and we were home by dinner almost every night. We’ve been spoiled rotten. You don’t get that experience very often. It really was a joy.

Q: What was it like working with Miley Cyrus? -

My character really doesn’t have very many scenes with Miley, but I spent more time with Miley I think personally in hair and makeup and during our camera tests we got to chat a little bit. I think she’s so cool, she works so hard, she’s extremely passionately committed to everything that she puts her mind to, everything that inspires her, and this was no different. We brought her out of acting retirement, or Woody brought her out of acting retirement and that’s exciting. I think she’s very talented, and she’s so down to earth. I’m not sure, unfortunately, that she’s often associated with being a good role model, but hearing her talk about the things that are important to her... I mean if she’s talking a bit about sometimes doing her own makeup for her concerts or getting on a plane with zit cream on her face because it’s real and because she’s like, ‘I have a zit so I’m gonna put something on, so I don’t have it anymore,’ and letting her young audience know that it’s important to be themselves. In my limited interaction with Miley I think she’s really great. I’m glad that she was so prominently featured in this.

Q: Was there a scene that was especially challenging? -

There is a scene at the end of the series that was challenging — I can’t really get too far into this. A long, long scene, a very long scene, with a lot of different people in it, and it was challenging in all of the best ways. It requires a lot of technical specificity. I think that’s as much as I can say, without giving the whole thing away. You have to watch it.