Could it be that after two Emmys, a hit sitcom, a Writers Guild nomination for her first feature film and that glam cover shoot she did for Entertainment Weekly that Tina Fey is getting just a tad full of herself?
“Tina won’t look people in the eye and she has a solid gold helicopter,” said Fey’s “Baby Mama” co-star Amy Poehler. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
There was no dispute from Fey, who was seated on Poehler’s left.
“I do have a solid gold helicopter but I go back and forth to the Hamptons,” Fey said with a straight face. “I have my license and I won’t let anyone ride on it but me.”
Truth is that Fey is riding so high these days that it’s highly unlikely anyone or anything could get close enough to her to hitch a ride. Since leaving “Saturday Night Live” two years ago — where she was that show’s first female head writer — Fey has emerged as one of the most successful funny ladies in front of and/or behind the camera with her NBC series “30 Rock.” Her new film “Baby Mama” opens on Friday featuring Fey as a successful single career woman with fertility issues yearning to have a baby.
The film, which also stars Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin and Greg Kinnear, was written for Fey and Poehler by their former “SNL” colleague Michael McCullers. It is one of the few projects featuring Fey that she didn’t write or produce.
“I didn’t write this,” she said. “There was an envelope with information about it… Oh here we go! Michael McCullers (the director) wrote it!”
Unlike some comedians who clam up in interviews and tap into their cerebral side, Fey seemed more than willing to break up the room with a series of randomly placed one-liners — often following Poehler’s lead — as she talked about being a baby mama, a major Hollywood player and finding the funny in a serious issue like infertility.
“I think trying to find humor in such a loaded subject is a helpful way to deal with it because so many women are facing these exact issues of trying to figure out when they prioritize a career for so long how is it possible to bring a family into that mix,” Fey said. “Hopefully women will see it and recognize truthful behavior about it and hopefully laugh.”
Fey, 37, had no such issues when she became a baby mama two years ago. Fey and her husband, film composer Jeff Richmond, have a daughter named Alice. To help her prepare for her role in the film Fey said she tried to imagine what if?
“I got a baby under the wire,” Fey said. “I was 35 when I delivered and hopefully it all went great. It wasn’t hard to imagine that it could have been all different.”
Being a successful working mother has its challenges, but Fey, who will next appear in a film with Ricky Gervais before spending the summer writing season 3 of “30 Rock,” seemingly has her priorities in order. Family, friends and pet ferrets come first. She understands and appreciates her success, but she finds her blessings more humbling than empowering.
“I had a moment on the ‘30 Rock’ set a few weeks ago giggling and thinking ‘this is crazy,’” Fey said. “I’m not always going to have my own TV show where I get to be in all the scenes. It’s so clear to me that this is a window of time and try to enjoy that. You’re right. I wasn’t on TV until I was 30 and I had a real job. Even before ‘SNL’ I worked at an office. I understand how insane this gets to be my job or this period of time.”
Given her string of successes that include an Emmy for writing on “SNL” and “Mean Girls,” the hit feature film she penned in 2004, if “Baby Mama” — a film she stars in but didn’t write bombs — don’t expect Fey to take one for the team.
Leading lady is still kind of out of her comfort zone.
“I feel comfortable coming out of ‘SNL’ and when a 12-year-old girl says ‘I want to be a writer,’ great,” she said. “That said, if this movie tanks, I don’t want to be blamed with that forever. I’m not going down with that s--t!”