Ahead of its second season, which premiered on Amazon Prime
just before the New Year, Mozart in the Jungle landed two Golden Globe
nominations -- a surprise for both fans and the cast alike.
“There’s so much out there at the moment that’s really good,
so I’m just really thrilled,” Saffron Burrows, the actress and an ensemble star
of Mozart, tells ETonline. The nominations follow the success of Transparent,
Amazon’s first big splash into original programming, which garnered five Emmys
and two Golden Globes for its first season. “It’s a whole new world of
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Created by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and
Tony-nominated director Alex Timbers, Mozart is loosely based on oboist
Blair Tindall’s memoir, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical
Music, which details her rise through the sex and drugs of New York’s
classic music scene. It lifts the veil on what many probably assumed was a
squeaky-clean world. Gael Garcia Bernal, who is nominated for a Golden Globe,
plays Rodrigo De Souza, a character based on real-life conductor Gustavo
Dudamel. (Fun fact: Dudamel makes a cameo opposite his on-screen persona as a
stage manager in season two.)
While real-life experiences serve as the basis for the show,
Burrows says it’s merely a starting point, not truly following the narrative of
the memoir or specific details of Dudamel’s life. “It’s quite free-floating,”
she says, adding a quote from executive producer Paul Weitz: “The specificity
“That’s the thing about this show and all of these
subcultures -- whether it’s Breaking Bad or Veep -- you’re
taking a look at something up close that reflects all of humanity and how we
behave with each other,” she continues.
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Burrows plays Cynthia Taylor, a veteran cellist who pays no
mind to servicing former conductor Thomas Pembridge (Malcolm McDowell) in the
back of a limo or sleeping with a labor lawyer played by Gretchen Mol while
serving as a mentor to a young musician played by Lola Kirke. “I can go
anywhere I please,” the actress says of her freewheeling character.
Cynthia, an amalgam of personalities from Tindall’s world,
spearheads the labor negotiation in season two. It’s a fight that Burrows says
may normally sound dry or dull, but is really about “the integrity of their
lives.” And in Mozart’s case, it gets a splash of sexual intrigue.