NEW YORK — It seems that playing 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 standup in the late ’50s.
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, HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, Sundance TV’s “Rectify, and NBC’s Blindspot and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
More recently, Kirby’s been seen on HBO’s The Deuce, Netflix’s Tales of the City and The Twilight Zone reboot on Citytv.
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.