There are a lot of reasons to love 2017 TODAY Style Hero Ellie Kemper, but her honesty might be our favorite. Whether she's talking about acne breakouts or parenting, you can always rely on the comedian to keep it real — and funny.
Ellie Kemper has played many roles on our screens — the innocent bridesmaid, the quirky receptionist, the unbreakable NYC newcomer. In real life, the giggly girl we've come to love is about to play her newest role yet: a mom.
The "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" star sat down with TODAY's Willie Geist for TODAY Sunday to talk about that new chapter of her life, and how she's just as nervous as any other parent-to-be.
"When you start feeling the baby kick, you realize there's a person inside and that pregnancy is very different from having a person you're responsible for, for the rest of your life," she told Willie. "I don't know what I'm doing, but then I have to remind myself no parent does, right?"
Kemper, who says she grew up in a household with "a lot of laughter," credits her college days at Princeton University to when she first realized that she could turn her sense of humor into a career.
"I joined an improv comedy group. Ours was named 'Quick Fire!' with an exclamation point," she said. "It was when I auditioned for that team and got on it and felt like ... I'll just say I felt like I was good at it."
I felt like, Oh, this is something I'm comfortable doing. I wanna continue to get better at it."
Soon, Kemper moved to New York City, where she met her husband, comedy writer Michael Koman while interning for Conan O'Brien, and got the chance to perform in front of Lorne Michaels.
"I had performed in a showcase at UCB that Lorne Michaels attended. And then, you know, two days later, I got a call, "Lorne Michaels wants to see you in his office in an hour."
Although she didn't get a spot on "Saturday Night live," that meeting sparked Kemper's breakout role on "The Office."
Now, Kemper has built a personal empire on her infectiously bubbly persona, as "Kimmy Schmidt" — the brainchild of Tina Fey, who wrote the series specifically for Kemper — heads into its third season, with filming set to start this fall.
Still, Kemper says she needs to remind herself not to be starstruck on set with Fey.
"I have to keep in mind what I see before me, which is this very grounded, very kind, very polite boss who treats everyone well. And so I'm like, "Focus on that part, Ellie.""
Sounds like a plan to us!