Actress Alex Borstein has addressed whether her character Susie in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is gay.
The period comedy drama on Amazon Prime Video has attracted Golden Globe and Emmy Award wins and secured a huge fanbase.
The show focuses on the relationship between Mrs Midge Maisel – a Jewish housewife turned professional comic – and her agent Susie Myerson.
And many LGBT+ fans have wondered from the start whether Susie is lesbian or bi.
When the pair meet, Susie is managing a club in Greenwich Village, New York.
The real-life Gaslight Café attracted sexually fluid poets including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Diane di Prima. And not only was the neighborhood the center of LGBT+ life in the city, the Gaslight was in a particularly lesbian part of it.
Susie wears a trademark look of trousers, braces, a fisherman’s hat, and sensible shoes. Indeed, in a few episodes she masquerades as a plumber, armed with a plunger.
Moreover, she’s clearly in love – in one form or another – with Rachel Brosnahan’s charismatic Midge.
And with Midge’s marriage breaking down, the pair become like an old married couple – forever bickering but struggling through life’s challenges together.
However, with the series set in 1950s and 1960s America, it would be hard for someone like Susie to come out as LGBT+.
Now Borstein, who won two Emmys for her role, has finally addressed Susie’s sexuality.
She stops short of labelling Susie’s identity. But she confirms the character is in love with Midge.
‘I think she falls in love with minds’
Rachel Brosnahan as Midge and Alex Borstein as Susie. Amazon Prime Video
The Los Angeles Times interviewed Borstein, 49, and asked:
‘How often do you get asked if Susie is gay? In the era the show takes place, that’d be a big plot point.’
She replied: ‘One thing I like about her is she’s like this fleshy, new-formed baby.
‘It’s interesting that a lot of people who want to know about her sexuality are the same people who would be like, “We don’t want it to be labeled.”
‘I like that she’s never had the luxury of having a relationship or even exploring it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s never even had her first kiss.
‘She’s absolutely in love with Midge to some degree, but I think she falls in love with minds.’
It’s not clear if The Marvelous Mrs Maisel will dig further into Susie’s sexuality in a future series.
But the show has attracted some criticism for failing to address it head on. In 2018, Autostraddle’s Riese Bernard called the show’s creators ‘cowards’ for failing to make Susie clearly lesbian.
However creators – Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Dan Palladino – have indicated they want to keep the ambiguity going.
Palladino said: ‘Once the series came out, everybody was reading into it. That’s our ultimate goal, to get people to read into it what they want to read into it. Make it their own.’
Perhaps Susie may now stand for the struggles a generation of LGBT+ people faced to be themselves.
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