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Austin Basis says diabetes pushed him to be a disciplined actor

He recently appeared on season 5 of the comedy series, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

New York native Austin Basis is an actor best known for his roles in “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” and Beauty & the Beast. His most recent role was in an episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” which aired on April 14, 2023, on Hulu.

Basis opened up about how this role compares to other roles, and how he uses his acting platform to spread awareness as a celebrity ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

How did you get into your role on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”?

When you jump onto a series as a guest star, you come into the episode, and you know your job. The audition was basically what you have. You do your work, and you leave. It’s a couple of days, maybe a week or two. “How to Get Away with Murder” was a couple of weeks. When you’re coming in as a series regular or recurring character on a new show, it’s almost like trying to catch a moving train. You’re coming in to work with actors who had been nominated for most awards. The cast won the Screen Actors Guild Awards for an ensemble and a comedy a couple of seasons ago. Coming on the show in the final season was intimidating. I knew I had to bring my A-game and kind of live up to the standards that had already been set.

What was it like switching from a dramatic TV show to a comedic series?

The switch between comedy and drama is more about pace. The extreme of comedy is seeing someone else, like in a crazy situation. … Going back and forth, it’s about commitment to the circumstances, the reality of what you’re playing, and trying to ground your character in a reality that you’re familiar with.

As the celebrity ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, what message do you want to share with those watching?

When I was a kid, I didn’t have anyone to look up to in the public eye, and I was a sports fan. Not many sports figures or actors that I looked up to had type 1 diabetes. The only person I knew was Mary Tyler Moore, who was the only famous person who had type 1 diabetes and she worked work with the JDRF. I wound up meeting her at a certain point, and she was someone that inspires me to do what I’m doing. Now I help kids that are aspiring actors or just aspiring to be in the public eye to know that there are ways to do it healthily but also to know that it’s possible. [Having diabetes], that extra awareness, and the personal responsibility that you have to have to stay healthy and survive basically, I think it provided the ground plan or the road map for success.

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