The Tina Fey Interview: On Lemons, Politics and Sex in Movies

Famed SNL bad girl Tina Fey has apparently experienced the best and occasionally worst of both worlds, at least after dark, whether you’re talking Date Night on the big screen or small screen Saturday Night Live when not well, making Liz Lemon out of lemons.

Tina gabbed away during this comedic conversation, weighing in about gorging on lemon cake as a stress reliever on SNL, what types of sex roles she prefers if only they’d ask her to do any of them, and job peeves peculiar to small screen dream occupations like SNL and 30 Rock.

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t get her started about politics even if she’s been dubbed Sarah Palin’s evil twin, or wanting your money back if you hate her movies.

TINA FEY: Good Morning. Hello, hello!

Hey, Tina…So how fun is it making a movie, in contrast to television?

TF: It was fun!

How stressful is SNL, compared to say doing a date movie?

TF: Your first year at SNL is really stressful. So I would eat like a lot of lemon pound cake.

How about those suspicions that your pre-election Hillary skits on SNL were an attempt to size her up offscreen against Obama?

TF: I don’t think comedians can sway voters. It would be underestimating the voters to think we’re gonna change their opinion, based on jokes.

What about joking around about a subject no woman would find funny. You know, getting older?

TF: Yeah, so many women are trying to figure out if they’ve prioritized a career for so long, and how is it even possible to bring a family into that mix. Hopefully you can laugh about it. Because that’s better than…stewing about it!

Do you feel motherhood has changed you at all, as a woman or a comedian, or what roles you will or won’t take on now?

TF: It’s not like I’m offered a lot of sex roles! But any part I play, I’d want to feel that it’s a truthful portrayal of a woman. You know, believable, intelligent and three-dimensional, in some way.

What sex roles would you accept?

TF: Hmm…No dialogue, just straight sex! That’s what I’m hoping.

What does a 30 Rock Emmy mean to you?

TF: It’s all good. And it made for a nicer, happier day at work for all of our crew. And after we won those things we were like, great, we’re doing the right thing staying away from our families for sixteen hours a day! And now I’m edgy about the fact that somebody’s gonna steal them. Yeah, I’m very edgy about that.

But sometimes I think, this is crazy. I’m not going to always have my own TV show, where I’m like in all the scenes. It is so clear to me that this is a window of time, and to just try to enjoy it.

And I think part of feeling like that, is that I wasn’t on TV until I was thirty. And I had a real job before SNL, I worked in an office, So I understand how insane it is, that this gets to be my job for this period of time.

Will those reigning queens of comedy, you and Amy Poehler, ever star together in a movie again after Baby Mama?

TF: If they let us! We want to do a remake of Nine To Five. But maybe call it Ten To Three, because it’s just too much work. And then we’ll do Wonder Womynz. With a Y, and a Z! Trademark!

What are your hopes for your movies?

TF: If my movie tanks, I don’t want to be blamed for it forever! I’m not going down with that shit. And don’t go ask for your money back!

Okay, thanks.

TF: Bye. And a lot of what I said today, I was joking!

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.