Michael Zegen: Stuff I’m Nerding Out on

Michael Zegen doesn’t mind being playing unlikeable characters—as he has on four seasons of the critically-beloved Amy Sherman-Palladino series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or in his recent Broadway turn, Trouble in Mind. Even at their worst, Zegen makes his characters so fun to watch, and despite them, manages to come off so likable himself. It doesn’t hurt that the Jersey-born actor seems to have a rare eye for good material. From Maisel to playing gangster Bugsy Siegel in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Denis Leary’s firefighting son in FX’s Rescue Me, endless hit The Walking Dead, and two of the most charming films of the last decade: Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn (even Greg Mottola’s Adventureland is an oft overlooked classic). There’s not a whole lot of holes in his game. It could be said that good taste equals career longevity, as is the case with many a great character actor. Below, we asked Zegen to break down everything he’s nerding out on right now—from hideous oranges and cashmere sweaters to an 8-hour documentary about a little known band named The Beatles.


Why sit at a desk when you can stand at one? My adjustable Uplift Desk has easily been the greatest addition to my office space. Luckily, my job doesn’t require sitting at a desk all day, but I do spend a decent amount of time in zoom meetings, reading and writing scripts, browsing Ebay for vintage shirts, etc. It’s been so much better for my back, my energy level, and, in turn, my creativity. I can’t recommend it enough. Also, with the click of a button, sitting is still an option… if you’re into that sorta thing.”


“Can’t be bothered to turn on your oven? Throw it in the air fryer! While I do enjoy cooking, sometimes it’s nice to have a machine that does it for me. Quicker than baking, healthier than deep-frying, this appliance can cook your dinner in a matter of minutes—as long as your dinner is french fries! “


“Easily the best sweaters I’ve ever owned. They fit great, they’re super-soft, and they come in a variety of really cool colors. I get compliments anytime I’m wearing one. Plus, as far as cashmere goes, they’re very affordable. Just don’t steal my look!”


“As my mother always says, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover,” and these tasty oranges are no exception. Yes, the exterior is unsightly to say the least, but once you peel away the pockmarked, bulbous rind, a beautiful citrusy orb is revealed. And it tastes just as good as it looks—like a larger, seedless, clementine. They’re pricey but worth the acid reflux!”


“Though I’m definitely a sports fan (Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Rangers), I’ve never been able to get into soccer… until now. There’s just something cozy about waking up and watching a match at 9am on a Sunday. And while Tottenham might not be the best team–in fact, they’re pretty infuriating, they’ve certainly got character AND a Shakespearean name, so that’s worth rooting for in my book.”


 “After watching the Get Back documentary on Disney+, I went on a bit of a vinyl kick, buying every album of theirs I could find. Turns out, The Beatles were actually a pretty solid band! It’s a shame they never took off. In all seriousness though, the doc is worth a watch, and the songs worth revisiting, so if you have the time (8 hours), tune in to watch the method behind the madness of these four legendary artists. “

Photo Courtesy of Netflix


Photo Courtesy of BBC Four

“A British TV series about two sad-sack treasure hunters played by Toby Jones & Mackenzie Crook. I’ve binged through the entire series twice, and could happily watch it a third time. It even inspired me to buy my own metal detector—though I’ve yet to take it out of the box.”



As Joel Maisel in all 4 seasons of Amy Sherman Palladino’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


As Maurizio in Oscar-nominated Brooklyn

As Benny Segel in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire

As Benji in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha

As Damien Keefe in FX’s Rescue Me

As Eric in Greg Mottola’s Adventureland

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