Tina Fey: One hot 'Mama'
It's a script only she could write: An ''SNL'' scribe morphs into an award-winning TV actress (''30 Rock'') and now a leading lady on the silver screen in new comedy ''Baby Mama''
Time for another take. Fey bounces in place like a fighter readying to land a punch, and then produces a perfectly modulated ”Ugh!” as requested. Perhaps she’s so at ease because she’s done ADR (automated dialogue replacement) before on 30 Rock. Or perhaps it’s because this is a woman who knows precisely what she is — and isn’t — capable of as an actress. ”Irene, our postproduction producer at 30 Rock, said to me, ‘You’re so good at ADR,”’ recalls Fey. ”I’m like, ‘Yeah, because I have one line reading. I can remember how I did it. I’m not Daniel Day-Lewis.”’
No, but this year Tina Fey became an award-winning actress — and it might not be long before Hollywood anoints her as a movie star, too. After taking home a SAG award and a Golden Globe for her role as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, Fey, the geek nation’s reigning queen of comedy, is about to infiltrate the masses with her patented brand of hyperintelligent hilarity. Baby Mama (which opens April 25) is Fey’s first attempt at carrying a big-screen comedy, and her biggest shot at a mainstream audience to date. At least some of the 6.6 million fans devoted to 30 Rock — which is back on NBC with new post-strike episodes — can be counted on to line up, but can Fey break through to the uninitiated? Poehler, for one, has no doubts: ”I think Tina is a proven level-smasher.” It’s a concept that makes the 37-year-old Fey nervous, as evidenced by a recent encounter in a Manhattan electronics store. ”This woman came up to me — I should have known she was odd because she was carrying a broken Discman, and it is 2008. She was like, ‘You’re a great actress.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think so, but thank you.’ And she said, ‘No, I’m asking you, you’re an actress, right?’ I said, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it.’ All I could think of to say was ‘Don’t worry about it.”’
NEXT PAGE: ”I liked the topicality of the fertility issues that affect so many people. And Amy liked that it did not have anything to do with a goddamn wedding.”
More 30 Rock:
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.