Comediennes Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski Trade Network for Netflix
The 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' leading ladies dish all about their latest roles.
If you've been suffering from 30 Rock withdrawals, today's your lucky day—Tina Fey's latest project is now on Netflix! Maximize your viewing pleasure with the entire first season of endless—uncensored—laughs available now to stream. You can even get your Jenna fix with Jane Krakowski co-starring alongside Ellie Kemper, who portrays the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a victim of a cult that brainwashed her into believing the world had ended.
Netflix gave us a first look at the series—and the chance to get the scoop firsthand from the comedienne co-stars, who were just as quick-witted as you'd expect. Here's what they had to say about how they prepared for their latest roles and how they compare to their former characters.
EK: “I watched all of 30 Rock—I binge-watched on Netflix—to immerse myself in the tone and sensibility of the writers of the show. The Office was more improvised because it’s a different pace, so there’s longer to breathe. Here, in my experience, every word matters so much; there’s so many words to fit into a line, and if I ever improvised it was messing [it] up."
JK: “I remember having early conversations with [writers] Tina and [Robert] Carlock because we were all very hyper-sensitive to try to make Jacquelyn different from Jenna, and initially trying to talk slower because there was such a fast pace on 30 Rock and all that sort of stuff. I’ve always approached the characters very differently, but there was a day when Tina just finally broke it down for me and said, ‘Well Jenna was a horrible person’—which was good to learn after we finished wrapping five seasons—‘and Jacquelyn is not.’ So I’m working on that part."
EK: "I think they both [The Office's Erin and Kimmy] can come off as ditsy; they're both strong women, but I would say Kimmy has a resilience and tenacity that maybe Erin didn't quite have to the same extent because of the circumstances she was forced to go through. I think you aren't able to survive something like that unless you have a fierceness and a very strong core—which isn't to say that Erin didn't, but I do think that [Kimmy] had a tougher upbringing perhaps than Erin did. But I think that they share an optimism and a sense that the world is good, which is a nice way to look at things."
As for Kemper's youthful on-screen uniform (forgive her, she's been underground for two decades), the actress confesses, "I hate those $17 pink pants. You do eventually [see her in other attire]; I think that's the moment when the viewers are going to be like, 'We have to keep watching.'"
Tune in to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, now on Netflix.