‘Maisel’ player a consummate character actress

Why Caroline Aaron likes working for Woody Allen

Caroline Aaron

A respected character actress on stage, film and television, Caroline Aaron has worked with some of the best directors in show business, among them Robert Altman, Nora Ephron, Mike Nichols and Woody Allen.

In fact, the Virginia-born actress, who plays Shirley Maisel on Amazon’s currently streaming Season 3 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” has worked with Allen on four films – “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), “Alice” (1990), “Husbands and Wives” (1992) and “Deconstructing Harry” (1997) – and also did a Broadway play with him, “Bullets Over Broadway” (2011-12).

Among the things she likes about working with the Oscar-winning writer/director is his relentless pursuit of authenticity in his work and his ability to craft a joke. She laughs as she recalls one written for her from “Bullets.”

“I’m having a big fight with my husband,” she says, “We’re talking to a psychiatrist and I say to the psychiatrist, ‘Tell him. Tell him what you gave me for my birthday.’ And then I say, ‘He gave me a bracelet inscribed with the words “Do Not Resuscitate.” ’

“Pretty good,” she continues. “Yeah, that’s really Woody and nobody can do that like him, that’s for sure.”

Aaron also gives high grades to her current “Maisel” bosses, showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and husband Daniel Palladino, for turning out scripts of a consistently high quality and for creating a world that keeps expanding.

“I can only say that after they won all the Emmys for Season 2, I said to Dan, ‘Are you scared?’ ” she says. “Because we’re just all invited to play on their playground but they really have the heavy lifting because they start with the blank page. And I thought, ‘That must be so intimidating to be so anointed and then you have to go back to the blank page for Season 3.’ And he said, ‘No, we’re just going to keep doing the show we’re doing.’ But I have to say they’ve outdone themselves. … It’s quite remarkable.”

Full name: Caroline Sidney Abady

Birth date: Aug. 7, 1952

Birthplace: Richmond, Va.

Family ties: With husband James Foreman, has two sons, Ben and Sidney; mother Nina was a civil rights activist; sister Josephine was a noted stage producer, director and theater owner

Other TV credits include: “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” “Law & Order,” “Empty Nest,” “Mad About You,” “Dave’s World,” “Wings,” “Early Edition,” “LateLine,” “Frasier,” “Sex and the City,” “Ally McBeal,” “NYPD Blue,” “The Practice,” “Tracey Takes On …,” “Judging Amy,” “Family Law,” “Six Feet Under,” “7th Heaven,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Entourage,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty,” “Episodes,” “Madam Secretary”

Movie credits include: “Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” (1982), “Heartburn” (1986), “Working Girl” (1988), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), “Alice” (1990), “Husbands and Wives” (1992), “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), “Big Night” (1996), “Deconstructing Harry” (1997), “Primary Colors” (1998), “Bounce” (2000), “Beyond the Sea” (2004), “Nancy Drew” (2007), “Love Comes Lately” (2007), “21 Jump Street” (2012), “22 Jump Street” (2014), “Hello, My Name Is Doris” (2015)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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