CATEGORIES New Releases, Tribeca, Festival Reports, RumorMonger, Celebrities and Controversy, Fandom, Movie News, Tribeca Film Festival, New Releases, CinematicalAmy Poehler certainly didn't look pregnant when she showed up for a chat at the Apple store in Soho last weekend (as part of a series of talks taking place during the Tribeca Film Festival), but in retrospect, the Baby Mama star had the sprightliness of a gal with a special secret. Along with moderator and Saturday Night Live co-star Fred Armisen, Poehler really worked the room, gently mocking the crowd ("I think all these guys are waiting to get into the Genius bar") while slipping in occasional hints that she actually has an authentic strategy behind her career.
"I would like to do more serious acting," she said, not mentioning her recent voiceover work for Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil. "I've been doing sketch comedy for a long time, and it'd be nice to turn the volume down a little bit and try other stuff. I have a secret desire to be on Law & Order, but I wish I could be on an old Law & Order, with Jerry Orbach." Armisen, somewhat facetiously, said he would never tire of comedy. "It's like eating to me," he claimed.
Someone asked Poehler if she and Tina Fey were allowed to improvise in Baby Mama. "Tina and I did get to improvise quite a bit," she said. "We started together in Chicago as improvisers in 1993." It was Poehler's improv experience in the windy city that lead her to start the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, which later lead to her SNL gig, where she jumped from featured player to full-time cast member after a single season. She and Fey stayed close. "We were comfortable enough to pitch each other jokes," she recalled. "Everyone at SNL is the same. That's a relationship that has to be earned."
Judging by the rapport she shared with Armisen, it's clear that the duo's collaboration has become natural to them. Armisen marched across the stage in a hilarious impersonation of Steve Jobs; later, the comics pretended to squabble about which one of them was allowed to answer a question first, and when Armisen started speaking, Poehler abruptly cut him off.
Although comfortable in the public eye, Poehler said she wasn't a huge fan of repeating herself at press junkets, where recent questions included her thoughts on Hillary Clinton (since she does such a great impression of the candidate) and whether or not she and Fey are friends in real life. She doesn't give them any dirt, she said, and she didn't give the Apple crowd any, either. (When asked what she and her husband, Arrested Development's Will Arnette, do for fun: "Today, we made chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the day. Well, he made them.")
Poehler didn't touch on the biggest issue of film --TV overlap that all SNL stars face -- that is, the difficult transition to the big screen-but cleverly made light of showbiz pressures. She recalled an early audition for a lottery commercial in Chicago, where a woman made her recite her most embarrassing moment, and she obliged. "I walked out and said, 'Why did I have to tell her my most embarrassing moment?'" Poehler said, adding, "I killed her in the dead of the night."
Even as the punchlines kept coming, however, Poehler still managed to drop a few words of wisdom. "Just plan on not owning or making money for ten years," she said when a twelve-year-old audience member asked her for professional counsel. "If you can hang on and you're talented, then your friend will give you a job."