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Exclusive Interview with 'Baby Mama' Star Amy Poehler

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Exclusive Interview with 'Baby Mama' Star Amy Poehler

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Baby Mama.

© Universal Pictures
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Is there anything you did that didn't make it into the film that you really wish would have?
[Laughing] “Yeah, and I'm really upset about it... No. There were maybe a couple of things with me and Carl [played by Dax Shepard] that were really, really fun to do where I was kind of interacting but I think as the film we went on, we realized we wanted to keep it more about Angie and Kate. But there were a couple of things with Dax Shepard that I missed that were really fun. He's an awesome person and hilarious guy, so those were ones maybe that I missed.”

Was there ever any talk of actually having your husband [Will Arnett] come on and play Dax Shepard’s role as your boyfriend in Baby Mama?
“No. The reason why we liked Blades of Glory so much is that it was such a twisted relationship because they were brother and sister. I think real life couples on screen are kind of deadly. For the most part, they're kind of deadly. You'd be surprised. Unless they're falling in love onscreen for the first time, you don't have quite the same energy for some reason.”

After all these years of doing SNL, are you at the point now where you don't laugh when people try to break you up or do you still lose it?
“It's funny, honest, there's so much going on and like I'm always thinking about time and worrying about my next thing, that it takes a lot to lose it. I will on occasion. Like, there's a kind of famous crack-up when [Rachel] Dratch was on the show and she did Debbie Downer. That was one of the few times that I lost it. But, you know, there's not a lot of cracking up. Everyone's kind of too in the zone to do it. And we have, in fairness, unless something really crazy happens live, we have rehearsed it enough times that you're kind of ready for it.”

So is it different on a movie set? Are you more likely to actually lose it working on a film than you are on SNL?
“You know, it's funny. I think so sometimes, because oftentimes you're rolling and people are just trying things. And being on the other side of it and trying things and having people crack up, you're like. ‘Oh man, don't crack up.’ So I try not to, out of respect for my fellow actors.”

How did you deal with the pregnancy tummy?
“Oh, it was really sweaty!”

Was it stinky? Most actresses say the fake bellies do actually stink.
“Mine was not so bad. [Laughing] Maybe those other people need to check their personal hygiene. Mine was like a big pad and then we had some prosthetic stuff too. But it was not so bad. We were shooting in the summer though so every once in a while - like, you know, on the streets of New York - I would just move my stomach around and get really weird looks from people.”

How strange was it to make jokes about Sigourney Weaver's age with Sigourney Weaver standing there? [Weaver plays the owner of the surrogacy center Tina Fey uses to hook up with Amy Poehler]
[Laughing] “It's an awesome example of how great she is. I love her. And let me tell you something, in person, if you love her now, she is a delight. She is sweet and funny. She's always played these serious bad-ass characters, but she's really kind of silly and goofy. We really had a fun day when we shot the therapy scene that day. We were improvising a lot and she was having a lot of fun. Working Girl was a bit of an inspiration at times for Angie. Melanie Griffith's character in Working Girl, I kind of looked at that sometimes as a bit of research and to have Sigourney in the film was killer.”

And it wasn't strange to make cracks about the fact she's still popping out babies at her age?
“No, no. [Laughing] I mean, look Sigourney Weaver, if I looked like Sigourney Weaver, I wouldn't worry.”

And you did get to share one scene with Steve Martin who plays Tina Fey’s boss in the movie.
“Yeah. It was hard for Angie and Steve's world to really collide because it would be a little sit-com-y for me to, let's say, meet him on the street. But, yeah, I'll take it. It was a pleasure to work with him, as always.”

You also have The Mighty B, a new series on Nickelodeon, coming up. How the heck are you balancing all this work?
“I'm like Saddam Hussein, I have like 14 doubles.”

That must be what it is. Your doubles are doing everything.
“They show up and work. I can't promise you that you're talking to the real Amy Poehler.”

So why are you tackling a new series?
“Well it’s really cool. Actually my friends who work at Nickelodeon, we talked many years ago about doing an animated series together. We started to talk about the idea of doing a female-driven series where this girl is at that great age, you know nine and three-quarters, where you're not boy-crazy and you're not mean to other girls. You really believe you can be an astronaut, a physicist, a waitress, a singer, a dancer. The world is your oyster. So that enthusiasm I find fascinating. I just wish you could bottle it and take it like a pill. When no one's told you no yet. No one's told you you're not good enough, or no boy has broken your heart yet. So we’re going from there and just kind of based it on this character I used to do on Upright Citizens Brigade. It's been a couple of years in the making and it's kind of all exploding at the same time. In fact, Baby Mama is premiering April 25th and then the next morning at 10:30 am Mighty B is going to be on, so I'm just going to stay in my pajamas and watch it.”

It's going to be your weekend.
“I wish my astrologist had predicted this - this big power weekend.”

Do you believe in that?
[Laughing] “No, I don't.”

Okay, just checking. I don't want that to be the headline or to see it quoted somewhere…

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