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INT: Poehler/Rudolph

05.16.2007

Truth be told, I haven’t watched “Saturday Night Live” for many years. When I do watch it, I tend to prefer the classic “not ready for prime time players” such as John Belushi, Chevy Chase , Gilda Radner and such. But there do seem to be plenty of talented people working their way through SNL and sometimes on to bigger and better things. SHREK THE THIRD has quite a few of them, including Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Cheri Oteri and a couple fresh faces including Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler. They both have done a handful of movies here and there, and it seems they may continue along that path. Amy who has appeared in BLADES OF GLORY and will soon be seen in MR. WOODCOCK. Maya, in IDIOCRACY and A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION and now, along with Amy, can be heard as modern day princess’ in SHREK THE THIRD.

When Amy and Maya stopped by The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills , I was pleasantly surprised. They are not only very funny but they were also energetic and happy to be a part of the SHREK world. Although they seemed to think that if Shrek, or someone that looked like Shrek, barged into the room, it might be a bit freaky. It could happen. They also spoke about Saturday Night Live and the talent that has come from the show, and some future plans including MR. WOODCOCK and HORTON HEARS A WHO. They also had a taste of fun with the Shrek pens handed out, you know the ones, push a button and Donkey talks. Fun stuff folks. Nothing like hearing Donkey sing… “Someone’s in the kitchen with Donkey…” It was a blast to talk to the princess’ and what else can I say, check out what Snow White and Rapunzel had to say.

Amy Poehler Maya Rudolph

Is there a certain childhood fantasy thing about doing something like this?

Maya Rudolph: I’ll be honest. We’ve been asked that question all day and I was like, I don’t know and then I was like, it’s kinda nice. They are like, “hey, you’re a princess.” Well, thank you very much.

Amy Poehler: Totally. I’m not too cool for it, I’m super psyched to be in a film that will stand the test of time, I really believe that. And to play the iconic figures we get to play. It’s really neat. And to be with funny ladies and be among like an amazing cast, it’s really great. I’m a fan of the films; I can honestly say I really like them; as opposed to when I lie all the time. [Laughing]

Was it fun to kind of turn the whole princess thing on its ear, I mean, princess’ are huge with modern little girls?

AP: They are, they’re really big right now. I was trying to tell that other dude.

MR: …I know, he wasn’t listening.

AP: But they’re huge right now and so it was kind of nice to play a version of those classic princess’ who kind of end up saving themselves.

How much leeway did you allow yourself with the whole improv thing?

AP: I allow myself a hundred percent, other people don’t allow… no… [Laughing]

MR: I mean there is definitely an open invitation but they know what they want and it’s written and it’s already written very well. You know, it’s already funny. Then there’s this really nice… okay, let’s try this and… that didn’t make any sense did it?

AP: We got to improvise a little bit.

MR: Thank you.

AP: We got to create our characters a little bit, but they had a really solid script coming in. So we knew that we were gonna get to… [the table shakes and a journalist jumps]

MR: Don’t worry, it wasn’t an earthquake. You just jumped.

AP: You guys… Shrek is here! [Laughing] That would be awesome if someone came barging in dressed as Shrek.

MR: That would scare the living shit out of me. [Laughing]

It would?

MR: I don’t know, like a large…

AP: A giant green person…

MR: Like real? Not a costume?

AP: I think I might jump.

We don’t really know how big Shrek is.

AP and MR: Yeah…

He might be a little man.

MR: Might be teeny tiny?

AP: He looks quite big, compared to…

Have you guys seen the movie? The whole thing?

AP and MR: We saw it in New York.

MR: [To Amy] I’m gonna say everything that you say at the same time...

Did you see it in a screening room with Julie Andrews like one of your members did?

MR and AP: No.

With an audience?

MR: No it was just us and Amy Sedaris…

AP: And Maya’s daughter… Pearl. [Both say daughter Pearl]

Well, there’s an audience.

AP: She was an audience.

MR: But she’s only a year and a half, so she was like, ‘what the hell is going on?’

AP: Tell them the story about pointing to you.

MR: She watched it and she got a little scared and she was doing this to me [hiding with her mommy] with the trees. And then at the very end of the movie she pointed to Princess Fiona and she said, ‘mama’. [Laughing] No that’s Cameron Diaz.

How does it feel to be in a big summer movie?

AP: Yeah.

MR: It’s cool.

AP: It’s thrilling. I’m so excited… I’m so excited that it did well. And I think it’s great.

Will this success lead to other things now?

AP: It leads to debauchery, it leads to egotistical mania. Right?

MR: Drinking…

AP: Lotta drinking.

Normal behavior then?

AP: Yeah, normal everyday behavior. [Laughing]

MR: Everyday life.

The voice acting, did it prepare you for “Horton Hears a Who”?

AP: Yeah, I got to do that as well, which… I don’t know when that’s coming out, but that was really fun. Again, great cast of people and a classic story. I play the wife of the mayor of Whoville, I’m Steve Carell’s wife. [She has trouble remembering her character’s name in the film] Ah, my characters… but in this one [Shrek the Third] I play Snow White. I’ll tell ya that. No, but it’s been really fun to get to do a lot of animation and stuff. It’s really cool. Again, we do late night television so we don’t get to do a lot of things that are age appropriate for children. So it’s nice to do something that…

MR: It actually is fun. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, God. I gotta do Rapunzel.’ It was fun.

Is the working relationship, when you do work with former or current SNL members on another project like Will [Ferrell] on “Blades of Glory”, is it a different kind of working process and kind of working relationship then it was on SNL [Saturday Night Live]?

AP: It’s completely different. You know, every experience is different. However, I will say that I think most SNL people share a similar vocabulary. There’s something similar in terms of… or there’s like a sparkle/twitch in the eye that everyone knows. Like, it’s a very specific camp so when you’ve gone there or you’re going there, you always have something to talk about.

MR: Yeah, like when you work on that show you are in sort of the army together, no matter who you’re with. And as I’ve met people over the years, you know, alumni of the show, it’s like you are all in the same fraternity together. Amy said [that] you speak the same language. So you know that if you had to go…

AP: To war…

MR: …out there, with them, that they’d be there.

AP: If you were in a comedy war.

MR: A comedy war. Not a real war.’

Given the fact that the SNL people do develop a certain shorthand with each other, how frustrating is it to be all by yourself in a recording booth?

MR: It’s different.

AP: It’s weird. It is weird. I mean, the good thing that came out of that is when I watched the film, I really had no idea what anyone else had done. So I was watching these ladies who I very much am a fan of, as well as friends of. I was excited to see what they had done. But it is a little isolating. I imagine that Cameron and maybe you guys no more than me but, that Mike [Myers] and those guys finesse up until the… I’m sure they listen back more than probably we did.

MR: Sure.

AP: We had smaller hits so… we kind of did our stuff separate from them, so… But, they did a great job of blending it together; like in the shower scene you really kind of can’t tell that we’re not all jabbering.

What are you guys working on now?

AP: Being a better person. Finding an alternative fuel.

MR: Good tan.

AP: Good tan. And telling the truth, not telling lies.

How’s that going for you?

AP: Ah, great? [Laughing] Ah, shit. BAD!

Have you seen “Mr. Woodcock” yet?

AP: I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen clips of it. You’ve seen it?

Yeah, a few minutes…

AP: When is that coming out? Do you know?

This fall…

MR: You made that forever ago.

AP: Yeah, that was awhile ago. They had to redo part because it was the old “The View”. People from… it was the old ladies from The View.

MR: Oh really. You’re gonna have to hurry…

AP: Don’t put the ladies from The View in your movies because you gotta redo it again and again.

But you have a lot, including that movie, that’s coming out.

AP: Yeah, that’s coming out. I don’t know when it’s coming out.

Who do you play in that?

AP: I play the publicist to Seann William Scott’s character, who kind of is needling him the whole time about getting back to work, and he goes to his hometown to sell his book and meet his old gym teacher who’s boning his mom.

MR: Romantic.

AP: That was a lot of fun.

MR: And romantic.

AP: Yeah, romantic. I haven’t seen that yet though.

How much longer do you see SNL being part of your career?

AP: Well, I know I’ve got one more year. I’ll be coming back next year. And then… Maya?

MR: This is my last year as far as I know.

What will happen then?

MR: Depression. More drinking. Moving to an island. No, I don’t know, I mean I never say never. My contract is up but I’ve been there for seven years.

Well seven years is actually quite a long time isn’t it?

AP: It’s a very long time.

MR: Yeah, but it’s standard so, you know, we’ll see what happens.

Maya, “Idiocracy” came out just a few weeks ago on DVD.

MR: Did you see it?

AP: I did. I loved it.

How did you feel about the way Fox treated it?

MR: It took me so long to understand what was going on because I never got a straight answer so it’s like frustrating at first. I’m like, when’s my movie coming out??? When’s it coming out? What’s wrong? And then, finally it was like, oh, I see what’s going on. No one will say anything and it’s just one of those things where they had it planned to never put it out. But you know what? A lot of people have started to see it which I love. You know, in that way, like on NetFlix, some many people have seen it on NetFlix. Because it didn’t come out… it didn’t come out in New York. It came out here [Los Angeles] for a week.

They opened it in seven cities, some of them very peculiar…

MR: They just buried it.

And I know Mike Judge had to threaten to sue them unless they gave it an opening.

MR: Did he really? It’s one of those weird things. I don’t know what happened. I would love for somebody to say, this is what happened. It’s sort of one of those weird mysteries kind of.

AP: A lot of people don’t know that it made like fifty million moon dollars.

MR: It made a lot of moon dollars.

AP: It was huge on the moon.

You both have been part of this explosion of female talent on SNL and you probably get more raves than anybody else on the show, and yet you are not getting the film offers…?

AP: They’re coming from the moon. I would argue that’s not the case.

MR: That is not the case my friend.

AP: I have to argue that that’s not true. For example, the biggest star recently to come out of SNL recently is Tina Fey. So I would argue that… I don’t know, I think that the bigger thing is… It’s really been nice to be given the [opportunity] to do “Shrek” with a lot of funny ladies. And it is a really nice reminder of how many talented women there are out there. And it’s about the constant kind of push to make sure that those stories get told and you create your own stuff. But his is a time when Tina’s got her show, the Sarah Silverman show is great, it’s like there is a lot of good stuff happening where women are creating their own stuff. And really at the end of the day, most people have to create their own stuff anyway so…

MR: Yeah, that’s true.

AP: That being said, there’s been a lot of male film stars that have come out of SNL, so I think that the tide is changing and I think in a good way.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to jimmyo@joblo.com.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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