Jane Krakowski insists that she’s not as dense as Jenna Maroney, the character she plays on 30 Rock. And, she would like to make clear, she has an abiding love for our neighbors to the north in Canada.
Krakowski and her co-star, Jack McBrayer, did a conference call last week to promote the second season of the newly minted Emmy winner, which starts at 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday. They are, understandably, thrilled that their show won the Emmy for best comedy last month and hopeful that it, along with a premiere that features guest star Jerry Seinfeld, will give the show a ratings bump (it averaged only about 5.5 million viewers a week last season).
More on both of those things later. First, l’affaire Canada.
A reporter asked what the two actors had done during their summer hiatus, and McBrayer waxed rhapsodic about having spent a month in Hawaii, where he was working on the Judd Apatow-produced movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. "It was so great," he said.
Krakowski was working too, filming the latest American Girl movie in Canada. "[My summer] was very similar," she said. "I was in Toronto, Canada, for the summer. The beach, the high life. … I was only there for a month or so, but it was good fun. Toronto, you know, it’s kind of like actor camp."
Of course, the next question in the queue was from a Canadian reporter. "Oh no. You heard that," Krakowski backpedaled. "… I actually really do like Toronto. It just didn’t sound as romantic or exciting as Hawaii."
To be fair, the reporter backed her up on that assertion. And to be fair some more, she was just making a joke about the relative merits of the two places. But several other Canadian reporters were on the call as well, so the hole just kept getting deeper — just like it often does for Krakowski’s character.
"Oh God. I’m going to have to put a statement out to Canada," Krakowski joked as the call ended. "Who do I have to call at the Canadian consulate to fix the situation? Honey, that was Jenna Maroney full on."
International incident avoided, here’s what Krakowski and McBrayer had to say about the show:
The Emmy win
JM: What I remember specifically about that moment is, you know, when you’re sitting there you kind of practice your congratulations face so that the camera doesn’t catch you going, Oh man. And so when they did call our name, you know, it was just complete surprise and [we] didn’t have to put on that face.
JK: None of us got out of our seats for a really long time. I think we thought like we misheard it.
JM: We thought they were saying 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Working with Seinfeld
JM: The first time I met him was when we were getting ready to act together. So it was a little intimidating. And I think what happens for me is that I just kind of clam up when I get a little starstruck. Because I don’t want to say anything stupid, which is my Achilles heel. But he was so gracious and so cool. And, you know, he knows what it’s like to put on a TV show. So I think he was a little more forgiving too with our stumbles and our figuring it out as we go along. But it was fantastic.
Favorite scenes and episodes
JM: I like it like when all of us come together. For example, our second episode we were all on this yacht. And [that was] something to be hanging out with everybody. Especially at that point in the game we really didn’t even know each other at all that well.
JK: I also love a lot of the crazy stuff they give Jenna, like where I got to do a music video with Ghostface Killah. You know, it’s just — where else am I going to get to do that stuff? So that was one of my highlights.
On breaking up during filming
JM: It is hard. I mean, I just recently have been breaking up a little bit. But I think it’s just because I’m not so nervous that the show is going to be cancelled. But every now and then Tracy [Morgan] will get a little tickled, I think.
JK: Yeah, and I just did a scene with Alec [Baldwin], my first one of the season. And he kept breaking up. And it’s so joyous when you see that.
JM: I know.
JK: Because we’re all just having a ball. And when you’re having that much fun you can’t keep it in while filming, it’s great.
JM: I’ve never seen Tina Fey laugh ever. She is cold and heartless.