'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Production Designer Bill Groom on His Greatest Success

"My career's had more momentum as I've gotten older. My greatest success has been after I turned 60, and I’m at a point in my career where I don't have any intention to stop," Groom told Magic Hour.

"I told my wife I’ve felt like the middle of the afternoon was my magic hour, and she said, 'Just before your nap?'" production designer Bill Groom joked with The Hollywood Reporter in the latest episode of Magic Hour.

"It's a very creative time of the day. That's when the questions really come up: choices of fabrics and paint colors, and how that's all going to work with the next set and what those colors are."

The seasoned designer has lent his talents to a number of film and television projects, including Boardwalk Empire, which earned him four Emmy wins, Saturday Night Live, A League of Their Own, The Departed and currently Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

"People have commented on the level of detail on the show and I can't imagine doing it any other way," Groom said of his work on Maisel. "You feel it when you read the script, what it needs to be, and I enjoy the process of the discovery of what the project is."

Growing up as an only child in a small town "halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City," Groom had to use his imagination to keep him entertained.   

"I had never seen a movie or had never been to a play but somehow, I figured out how to hang up my grandma’s quilts and make side-wings and a backdrop, and arranged furniture, and talked my cousin Connie into being my leading lady and we would do plays for my family."

He later went on to graduate from Tulane University to teach costume and set design, only to make the move to New York City to pursue his career in production design.

"I recall one of the teachers I worked with, I said, 'You know, I’m just going to move into the city next year, try to freelance.' And he said, 'Nobody does that without a sure thing,' and I said, 'Watch me.'"

Landing an art directing job during the fourth season of Saturday Night Live where Groom learned to "work really fast," his career began to take off with work on A League of Their Own where he got his "big break," Milk, Eat Pray Love and Boardwalk Empire before settling in with Maisel.

"My career's had more momentum as I’ve gotten older. My greatest success has been after I turned 60, and I’m at a point in my career where I don’t have any intention to stop," he said.

He continued: "If you love what you do and you're not quite where you want to be, just don't give up. I'm looking forward to whatever's next."

Directed by Jennifer Laski
Featuring Bill Groom
Executive producers: Jennifer Laski, Matthew Belloni
Producer: Stephanie Fischette
Co-producer: Victoria McKillop
Director of photography: Christian Huguenot
Camera operator: Vince Patrick
Camera assistant: Alicia Mersy
Editor: Victor Klaus