Raising A Glass To Rachel & Paige
As we close out March, we’re mixing it up a bit for this #WomenCrushingIt interview (you know we like to break the rules, right?) This time, we’ve got an amazing pairing — actress Rachel Brosnahan and her production partner Paige Simpson.
Rachel Brosnahan is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, House of Cards), as well as a producer and founder of Scrap Paper Pictures. She’s also a passionate advocate for young people experiencing homelessness and currently sits on the board of Covenant House International.
Paige Simpson is the Head of Development for Scrap Paper Pictures. Her previous projects have included the Affair, Billions, Black Monday and Masters of Sex, as well as programs for OWN and BET+. Rachel & Paige are actively producing diverse content and providing a platform for artists to tell their stories, their way.
We’ll admit to being a little obsessed with Rachel’s turn as the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (her character was blazing trails for women back in the 1950s, after all), and it looks like these two are going to give us a lot to look forward to. We toast to this talented team of women crushing it in their industry… and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Meet Rachel Brosnahan & Paige Simpson
Andréa: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why?
Rachel: “My pod! The four of us have been together through the thick and thin of all of this and I wouldn’t have made it through the last year in one piece without them. Cheers to the end & to new beginnings (and hopefully being able to travel again!)”
Paige: “I will be raising multiple glasses to my college friends who I haven’t seen since Spelman College’s Homecoming 2019. A few of my friends have had babies, and I can’t wait to meet them for the first time, catch up and make great memories.”
Andréa: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman in a male-dominated industry?
Paige: “This year has been a continuation of last year’s challenges. The theme to me means that we are all choosing to challenge all things that don’t make sense, are immoral and all injustices. Change is a challenge, so we must continue to fight for the changes we want to see in our world.”
Rachel: “#ChooseToChallenge feels like it’s been my unofficial mantra since I began working in our industry and certainly represents the mission of Scrap Paper Pictures. The goal has always been to challenge myself as well as society’s ideas of how women should move through the world, hold positions of leadership, make art, use our bodies and voices...but it’s not always easy. I, like every other woman I know, have been made to feel small, to question my talent, passion and ambition, to feel the need to apologize for advocating for myself and others. But those challenges make me even more grateful for women who have led by example and courageously carved pathways for us to follow and continue to grow.”
Andréa: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in your industry?
Rachel: “My first manager Carole Dibo who empowered me to say “No” to people, situations and even opportunities that didn’t feel right from a young age when so many women feel pressure to say yes all the time. But the list is long...Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, Shonda Rimes, Laverne Cox, Greta Thunberg, Amy Sherman Palladino, Michelle Obama, Madge Thomas, AOC, Shakina Nayfack, Carson McCullers, my close girlfriends & so many more.”
Paige: “My mother. She raised me with the belief that I could be and do anything I wanted to. It was very freeing. My mom worked very hard to provide me with experiences and knowledge.”
Andréa: How would you define your sisterhood that has supported you during your path?
Paige: “They are my everything … my sounding board, my laugh factory and my heartbeat. They uplift me when I’m down and never drop me.”
Rachel: “Lifeblood. I admire, learn from, grow alongside, love deeply and am ceaselessly grateful for my sisterhood every day. Would not be here without them.”
Andréa: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions?
Paige: “Know that you will hear ‘No’ a lot. You might even say no to yourself. But the moment that you truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you can’t be stopped. No weapon formed against you can prosper, and God has your back.”
Andréa: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?
Rachel: While it’s been undeniably challenging, it has forced folks to get even more creative and given the space to reflect and re-examine our priorities. I’m excited to see the kind of work that results from this period of introspection (and one thousand zooms).
Andréa: What are you most excited about in your work right now?
Rachel: To have any! I’m immensely grateful to be juggling a handful of projects I’m passionate about and to be collaborating with other artists who are inspiring creative powerhouses.
Andréa: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it?
Rachel: We don’t discriminate when it comes to wine...but we do love a high low moment. One of our favorite pairings lately has been the McBride Sisters Brut Rosé with a good old fashioned New York slice.
And we’ll leave you with one of our favorite “rants” from Mrs. Maisel herself -
“Why do women have to pretend to be something that they’re not? Why do we have to pretend to be stupid when we’re not stupid? Why do we have to pretend to be helpless when we’re not helpless? Why do we have to pretend to be sorry when we have nothing to be sorry about? Why do we have to pretend we’re not hungry when we’re hungry?” – Midge Maisel