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Tina Fey Talks Her Post-'30 Rock' Career, 'Admission,' and Oscar Hosting

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 13, 2013 at 4:28PM

A few weeks ago I went to see Tina Fey's latest movie "Admission" (March 22) on the same night that I watched the last episode of her seven-year NBC sitcom "30 Rock." Fey is a fascinating example of a pioneering woman who has become hugely successful while playing inside the box of what men can handle without being threatened.

AT: Did you get involved in the writing of it?


TF: No writing. It was written by Karen Croner, she worked with Paul Weitz.  Paul Rudd and I rehearsed. Because I'm a writer I am less inclined to try and change things in someone's script than other actors, I know what a giant pain in butt that can be.

AT: Do you aspire to be a director?

TF: I really respect people who are born directors who think in pictures. I know at core I am a writer. The ideal situation is to be a writer- producer and not have to hassle as a director, not have to play the shots. Paul Weitz is legitimately well-read and smart enough to be operating in that world. When you are going to proceed and do a script that is not yours it's a big relief to know that everyone involved is smarter than you.

AT: How was it playing opposite Paul Rudd?

TF: He's just a delight, I'm comfortable with him.

AT: Whose idea was casting the incomparable Lily Tomlin as your hippie mother?

TF: I may have suggested her, I was thrilled at the idea of it. She's just great, someone I've admired. She was as much of a thrilling scene partner as I thought she would be, a committed, lively team partner. Sometimes when you shoot on film they save all their energy for when the camera is on them. She doesn't do that.

AT: What are you working on now?

TF: I'm developing a couple of movies and pilots with friends and then hopefully we'll eventually pitch some TV with NBC again.

AT: Will you write your own screenplays?

TF: I want to. I'd do that again, I've only written the one screenplay, it's very hard, but satisfying. I saw "Mean Girls" on TBS and I thought I should do another one.

AT: And another book?

TF: I put all that I knew in 40 years into 270 pages. I don't have enough life experience.

This article is related to: Tina Fey, comedy, Interviews, Interviews , Paul Rudd

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.