NEW YORK — It seems that playing ’60s envelope-pushing comic Lenny Bruce on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is, well, just marvellous.
Hamilton-born actor Luke Kirby says he was “surprised” and “stunned” to have received his first Emmy Award nomination on Tuesday for his turn as the coarse New York stand up.
The 41-year-old says playing a fictionalized version of the real-life provocateur has “been a dream,” noting he’s been a fan since high school.
Kirby recalls discovering Bruce’s autobiography, “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People,” in his grandparents’ attic in London, Ont.
He’ll compete in a crowded category for best guest actor in a comedy series, facing rivals that include Adam Sandler, Matt Damon and Robert De Niro for their appearances on “Saturday Night Live.”
He also faces off against Rufus Sewell, another guest star on the Amazon Prime Video series. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” leads the comedy pack with 20 nods.
“It’s insane, it’s so stupid — they should just have me come in with a broom and just sweep up the dust from under their shoes,” Kirby says of the seasoned competition he faces.
Kirby’s been around the block himself, logging nearly 20 years in the business since appearing in a New York production of “Troilus and Cressida” opposite Idris Elba in 2001.
Since then, his credits have included Canadian features “Take This Waltz” and “The Stone Angel,” and TV series “Tell Me You Love Me,” “Rectify,” “Blindspot” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
More recently, Kirby’s been seen on “The Deuce,” “Tales of the City” and “The Twilight Zone” reboot.
Kirby notes he’s been particularly busy in the past few years, and gushes over “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” role that has catapulted him to a new level of fame.
“It’s been a dream, it’s all been a bit of a dream,” Kirby said from his adopted home of Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The role has sort of always been close to me since Day 1. I was a Lenny Bruce fan from a pretty young age. The dream of playing him goes back to being in high school.”
The Canadian Press