Mean Girls writer and star, Tina Fey, chats about her latest comedy offering ‘Baby Mama’
She co-starred as the teacher in ‘Mean Girls’ but did Tina Fey also wrote it? That was enough to get us excited for her latest offering ‘Baby Mama’
Fey stars as Kate, a career-obsessed woman ready but unable to be a mother. Queue Angie – played by the equally hilarious Amy Poehler – the gum-chewing, party-going, Wii-loving slacker who’s willing to endure nine months of pregnancy for a price. Screenwriter Michael McCullers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Goldmember,) makes his feature film directorial debut on the pic
Here Fey – a long time Saturday Night Live regular – talks about the film and reteaming with all those former Saturday Night Live stars.
Q. So what was it that attracted you to this role?
It starts in a very emotional, serious place. I feel that this topic is relevant because so many women are going through this right now. The adoption process, infertility -these are global topics. It felt like it was very ‘of the moment,’ and I like how serious and controversial these subjects can be as a starting place for comedy.
Q. You re-teamed with Amy (Poehler). How did that go?
We’ve known each other a long time, since 1993, I think. It’s nice that we get to do this together. With a stranger you take a lot of time in the beginning just learning how each other works. All that was all done. It’s really fun to know what to expect from each other, and we can help each other.
Q. Keeping in mind that both of you are such strong comediennes ; I thought the film is strangely sweet. Did you feel comfortable with the tender scenes?
Well, I feel that for the movie to sustain the two hours of telling a story, the characters need emotional moments in addition to the comedic moments.
Q. You also re-team with Michael McCullers, was this a group effort?
It takes a village! He’s great! He was on SNL for a while. He works with Mike Myers a lot. He really respects performers. He likes to collaborate. There was a lot of improvisation.
Q. Speaking of improv, tell me how the cast welcomed Michael’s third child during the filming.
His whole family moved here from California. His wife brought the two kids and was eight months pregnant. She had her baby here. She won the prize for most dedicated. (laughs)
Q. Your character, Kate, is a control freak. Are you?
I am not as stubborn as she is that’s for sure and not as tidy. I think Kate is actually a mix between Amy and myself.
Q. How did you get Sigourney Weaver onboard ? She is known for her dramatic roles, yet she was so funny.
Well, she’s funny! She was excited to do something comedic.
Q. Did you apply some of your personal pregnancy experience to the film?
Yes, I remember trying to get pregnant like my character. Sometimes having difficulty conceiving can seem like it takes forever.
Q. What was the craziest thing you craved for?
Chocolate donuts. I think I enjoyed that no one could tell me not to eat them.
Q. What do you think about your fellow colleagues that adopt children from all over the world?
Adoption is an absolute good. Anyone who opens his or her home to a child is so good. So much work. It’s a brave move to bring someone into a family. Internationally, domestically, it’s all good. Helping others. Specifics need to be worked on for adoption in special cases, and we need to help the children.
Q. Three years ago you and Amy became the first female co-anchors for the iconic SNL sketch “Weekend Update”. Do you think that was a historical milestone?
It was just the right choice at the time, not to make a statement. We enjoy working together, that’s all.
Q. You have been described as one of today’s sharpest comedic talent. You have won awards as the first female head writer. Were there moments in which you thought you were not funny at all?
All the time. I think my strength lies in writing jokes for other people. In addition to other writers writing for me. Every day is a new start.
Q. Do you think being a female actor differs from the males in comedy in terms of the delivery and appropriate subject matter?
I think if you get to write your own material there’s plenty of other options, unless someone else hands you the lines.
Q. What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would be for the baby to sleep in a bit. Perhaps 8 A.M. Getting up and going to play in the park, warm weather.
Q. And what’s your real day?
Getting up at 6 A.M. We are done shooting now, so at night I get to go to bed.
Q. Amy asked you this, and since she is one of the “10 Most Powerful People in TV News,” I can only copy her brilliant question: What are your beauty secrets?
Trying to go to sleep. Anyone with a child knows how difficult it is to get some sleep. Every working parent knows how much energy it takes to coordinate time at work and time with family. I’m very busy, so any time I have after work is to go home and be with my child. People say…”All you need to do is put some moisturized on your body, well I have no energy to do it. The choice is between putting the moisturized or flosses my teeth… I do floss my teeth! I’m not very interesting, but I did take one semester of Italian language and I enjoy speaking a few words in Italian. Molto Bene!
‘Baby Mama’ is in Irish cinemas Friday.