With hit US comedy series 30 Rock returning for a fourth season this month,
Time Out grabbed leading lady Tina Fey for a chat
After making its debut back in 2006, 30 Rock has picked up a stack of awards and become one of the most popular comedies on TV. Set behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show, the series is loosely based on creator Tina Fey’s experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live. And it seems celebrities can’t get enough of it, with past appearances from the likes of Calvin Klein, Jon Bon Jovi and Al Gore. There are plenty more cameos to come in the new season, with Matt Damon, Michael Sheen and Julianne Moore all set to put in an appearance in season four, which arrives on our screens this month. Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon, a socially awkward stress eater, who views the oven as a device for warming jeans in the morning. We nabbed Fey for a chat about fame, and what it means to be thought of as more than just a pretty face.
After two decades of hard slog, you turned into an overnight sensation following an impersonation of Sarah Palin. It seemed to be one of those things that came out of nowhere! I don’t think anyone sits there dreaming, ‘Well, I hope there’s a politician out there who looks just like me so I can do impersonations of her!’ It put me on the map with people who hadn’t seen 30 Rock or SNL, so what can I say? I’m indebted to her!
Growing up, did you dream of being a comedian? I’d watch Monty Python, and when SNL started in 1975, it made a huge impact on me. I was only five. It was my dream to be on that show, but one I never thought would come true.
How comfortable are you being a TV star? My daily life consists of going to work or being at home, so when I do interviews I always forget to muster up some kind of personality. Two hours from now, I’ll be going, ‘I really should have jazzed that up a little.’ Your biting wit and good looks have seen you referred to as the thinking man’s woman.
How does that feel? I cannot do my hair or make-up, and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the most bedraggled person they have ever seen. I have such a lack of skill in the womanly arts, it’s embarrassing. But I’ll take those compliments because they won’t last forever. I’ll save all the cuttings so some day I can look through them.
So, you rely on some help to get red-carpet ready, then? Oh yes – I’m lucky now that they can beat me enough with a make-up brush so that I look okay, but I’m glad I live in New York, because Hollywood would be tough. I mean, I go to the awards ceremonies and even though I’m not big, I’ll still be the heaviest person there. But that’s OK. My looks aren’t what I bring to the table. 30 Rock season four airs every Friday and Saturday at 7pm on OSN Movies HD.
Got your number! Tina Fey in figures
5ft4in Fey’s height– minus stilettos
2006 The year in which she surprised Saturday Night Live viewers by announcing her departure
40 Years on planet Earth
5.7m The number of views of a viral video on NBC.com of a sketch from the 34th season premiere of SNL, in which Fey guest-starred as then-vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin
90 Her ranking on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list for 2010 – one spot below Kiefer Sutherland and one spot above Kate Moss
5 Fey’s age when she received the scar on her left cheek, as the result of a random slashing incident in the front garden of her parent’s home
$152m Worldwide box-office takings of Date Night, the film in which she starred alongside Steve Carell