Alex Borstein's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel costar Rachel Brosnahan's aunt, designer Kate Spade, died in June

By Emily Zauzmer and Raha Lewis
September 18, 2018 09:13 AM
Credit: Jerod Harris/WireImage; Brian Ach/WireImage

When Kate Spade died in June, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel team made sure that the series’ star Rachel Brosnahan — the designer’s niece — had time to grieve.

At the Amazon Prime Video Post Emmy Awards Party, Alex Borstein, Brosnahan’s costar, opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about the challenging days following Spade’s death.

“We kind of shut down production for a little bit so she could go and be with her family,” Borstein, 47, said.

She added, “We all reached out to her in different ways.”

Spade died by suicide at age 55. In June, Brosnahan, 27, paid tribute to her aunt by sharing a video of Spade dancing with husband Andy Spade in front of a mariachi band.

“Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered,” Brosnahan wrote. “She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent.”

Brosnahan concluded, “Hug your loved ones extra tight today.”

Kate Spade and Rachel Brosnahan
| Credit: Walter McBride/Getty

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Borstein, who took home the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy, also praised Brosnahan, who won her own trophy on Monday night for outstanding lead actress in a comedy.

Alex Borstein

“She’s amazing,” Borstein told PEOPLE. “She’s generous, she’s lovely, she’s thoughtful and she’s an extremely hard worker. Everyone on the show, there’s no whiners, and there’s no one that shows up unprepared. Everyone is just a pro from the get-go, so it’s really nice, really rare.”

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On Monday, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel nabbed the award for outstanding comedy series in addition to outstanding directing and outstanding writing wins for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Borstein said of the cast, “I think we all genuinely actually like each other.”

Matilda Szydagis, who stars as maid Zelda on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, also talked to PEOPLE on Monday night about the cast coming together for Brosnahan.

“Something like that is very hard to handle,” Szydagis said. “I personally — my cousin actually killed himself a handful of years ago. I don’t even know how to put it. It’s just so surreal, that you kind of want to just not overwhelm someone. We just pretty much let her know that we’re here for her if she needed us.”

Continued Szydagis, “It’s just, when something like that happens to a family, like I said, it’s just unreal. It’s just so unbelievable. Especially if it comes out of the blue and to someone so young.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to