The ''30 Rock'' star talks about her best and worst decisions

We want to live inside Tina Fey’s brain. If there is anything her decade’s worth of work has taught us, it is that. From her seven-year stint as Saturday Night Live‘s first female head writer to her creation of the reliably zany 30 Rock, the 39-year-old has graciously invited America into her uniquely loopy, ferociously smart, unapologetically female psyche. It’s a place where high school movies are a blast (as in her script for 2004’s Mean Girls), where ”bitch is the new black” (her passionate defense of Hillary Clinton on a 2008 SNL), and where one deft comment can puncture a national campaign (Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin — including the phrase ”I can see Russia from my house,” which Palin never uttered — redefined the 2008 vice presidential candidate). Can we go to there?

Tina Fey shares a few of the other treasures rolling around in her noggin:

On Her Childhood Aspirations

”I wanted to be a colonial lady or C-3PO. Those were not viable, paying options, except maybe at Comic-Con. So I decided I wanted to be on TV.”

On Success Coming Later in Life

”The fact that this all started coming together when I was 30 was a real blessing. It put a real perspective on it. I had an office job for a while, and I knew that this job was way more fun. When I inevitably go back to an office job, I will know how to behave in an office.”

On the Best Two Days of Her Last Decade

”Last year I had one weekend where on Saturday morning I shot with Oprah Winfrey for 30 Rock, and that evening I went and did the first Sarah Palin sketch [on Saturday Night Live] with Amy [Poehler, as Hillary Clinton]. Then Sunday was my daughter’s third birthday party. And I didn’t have to work on Sunday.”

On Her Best Decision of the Last Decade

”To have a baby. Followed closely by having the guts to ask Alec Baldwin to read the pilot of 30 Rock. Though I didn’t do that — Lorne Michaels did. I had written it with Alec in mind, but we were never going to ask him. We read other actors, but then he was hosting SNL and having a fun time, and we were like, Maybe we should just ask him. We caught him on a good week, and here we are.”

On Her Worst Decision of the Last Decade

”It was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly [in 2002]. I got these very short, asymmetrical bangs. It was my fault. I saw it in a magazine and I asked for it. It was rough.”

On Retirement Plans

”I would like to manage a Linens ‘n Things…oh, they went under. A Laytner’s Linen on the Upper West Side [of Manhattan], then. Every time I’m in there I wish I worked there?free towels, smells like candles. One of my husband’s future plans is, we retire and he plays the piano in the Grand Floridian [hotel] in Disney World. I should start learning to cut silhouettes so I could be the lady who does that. I don’t know how they do that, but it’s impressive.”

On Whether She Imagined Her Career Turning Out This Way

”Did I imagine it? Sure. But I’m still imagining a thing where I eat my way out of a room filled with McDonald’s french fries. It’s floor-to-ceiling french fries. The way you save yourself is you eat your way out.”

Episode Recaps

Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

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