| July 20, 2015 | People
On hiatus from her hit Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, funny gal, actress—and songstress!—Jane Krakowski talks with her costar Ellie Kemper about girl power, her upcoming film Pixels, Hamptons living—including this weekend’s Children’s Museum of the East End fundraiser—and possibly returning to Broadway.
“Jane, are you always in the Hamptons?” comedic actress Ellie Kemper asks Jane Krakowski, her costar on the Netfix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created and produced by Tina Fey. Since first falling in love with the East End on vacation fve years ago, Krakowski has really taken to the Hamptons lifestyle. And when she’s not frequenting Tutto il Giorno, Dockside Bar & Grill, and The Beacon; selecting fresh produce from Country Garden Farmstand and Round Swamp; shopping at Homenature, MONC XIII, Bloom, and Sag Harbor Variety 5 & 10—“It’s a classic!”—she’s a loyal devotee of SoulCycle at “The Barn” because it is “one of the great summer joys out here,” she proclaims. “Everyone hangs out on the deck, and they get coconut water. It’s very Hamptons.”
On the heels of wrapping her first season portraying Jacqueline Voorhees on Kimmy Schmidt and on the eve of the premiere of her sci-fi comedy Pixel, Krakowski is relishing her downtime out East—although the ambitious actress and songbird is always seeking new projects. “Because we’re New York–based, I have long been trying to fnd something that would work between the time off from 30 Rock seasons, and now the time off between Kimmy seasons, so we’re working on something now,” she says, alluding to a potential return to the Great White Way. Fans can only hope. In the meantime, Krakowski talks with Kemper about the future of Kimmy, portraying the FLOTUS in Pixels, her role in this weekend’s Children’s Museum of East End fundraiser, and why she loves the East End.
Ellie Kemper: I had not met you before Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I was an enormous fan not only from Ally McBeal, but also from 30 Rock. I’ll admit I was very nervous to work with you because I thought, This is Jane Krakowski, and she is, of course, so wildly funny.
Jane Krakowski: Because she’s an elder? [Laughs]
EK: No! But I felt like, Wow, she’s the real deal. Because so many of the 30 Rock crew—writers and producers—were coming over to Kimmy Schmidt, I felt like I was the new person, and you were all so welcoming—but particularly you. I am so happy that you were that way, so thank you.
JK: That’s so nice! I felt the same way because I was coming into your show, and I was nervous. But it was lovely for me. It was a bit of a homecoming. I’d never arrived on a set where 95 percent of the people were family [from 30 Rock], so it was like getting the band back together. But I also love that our first scene was when I asked you to snuggle with me in bed, because I find with every job I do, your sex scene, or your make-out scene with somebody is always the first scene scheduled. We got in bed together on our first scene and just spooned each other—from the get-go!
EK: Yes! You’re exactly right—they do tend to put those scenes frst, and so you get to know each other right away. And I have to say, not only are you this kind, warm, welcoming, grateful woman, but you smell really good. [Laughs] It was such a wonderful first scene to do with you!
JK: I felt the same way. I wanted to keep up my chops with you. I felt so honored that Tina [Fey] and Robert [Carlock] asked me to come work for them again, and they gave me this very delicious part. I just wanted to do well. I just wanted to keep up with you, too. And we had a great season!
EK: We had a wonderful season—and we start again in August. Looking forward to it very much. I have to bring up something else, which is Pixels! Tell us about the movie. Pac-Man comes down and starts to destroy earth?
JK: That is correct, with stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, and Michelle Monaghan. I play Kevin James’ wife. Kevin James is the president, so I, therefore, am the first lady of the United States of America.
EK: Hello! My question to you is why hasn’t that happened in real life yet? Because you would be an excellent frst lady.
JK: Once we declare what party we’re both with, Kevin James and I will offcially be running. [Laughs] So the world starts to be attacked by aliens through video games, and yes, therein lies the plot. Chris Columbus directed it. We filmed in Toronto, and it was kind of incredible to see them transform the city into life-size video games of the ’80s. They took over a street in Toronto for about a week at night, and they did Pac-Man live. It was pretty incredible.
EK: That’s so cool.
JK: So it’s a huge, huge movie. I’m a mom of Bennett, who is now 4. I realize that I now judge my work experiences, especially the ones where you travel, through a 4-year-old’s eyes. Adam Sandler is a great family man, and he provided a camp every day for the kids to do different adventures. Most of the actors have kids around the same age, between like 3 and 10. Adam was so generous for what he had set up for all the kids while the parents were flming.
EK: That is so nice. I often wonder, How do you balance work with having kids? When it works out like that, really well for everyone, that’s such a good thing. Tell me about some of your favorite places to go with Bennett in the Hamptons.
JK: I was introduced to the Hamptons, actually inspired by Bennett, because we were pregnant the first year we came. We couldn’t travel at the time, so it was where we came to vacation. Then it became a tradition for us to come back because we fell in love with it. I just love the beauty of the beaches, the farms, the vineyards. You feel so far removed from city life, and you’re only a few mere miles of traffc away. Last year was the first time I came in September, and it was absolutely beautiful—October, too, with all of the Halloween [activities] for kids, and I love all of that. They set up these incredible corn mazes for kids and all of this great stuff. I feel like I can do a website for kids in the Hamptons.
EK: Well, you are a cochair of the Children’s Museum of the East End’s Family Fair in Bridgehampton this weekend, right?
JK: Yes, I was brought into [the museum] by a friend one day, to meet for a play date, and I was blown away by it. It’s such a special, fantastically designed children’s museum. We became regulars, and they asked if I would be part of their family event every year. I just love the people who work there, and it’s such an amazing children’s museum, so I’m happy to lend my name and show support wherever I can, because we go there a lot. One of my favorite things about the Hamptons is that there’s a comforting ritual to seeing people you know, like at local shops and restaurants, every year. I love the first time when I come back and see someone, and they’re like, “Hi! How was your winter?” I’ve been coming here for a few a years in a row, and I really appreciate the friendships with these folks.
EK: It’s so nice. The summer is already just this magical time, and then to go see those people you don’t see during the year, it’s just such a special thing to have. So, back to talking about Kimmy Schmidt. I am surrounded by Broadway veterans. You, Carol Kane, Tituss Burgess—you guys are all so musical. I consider myself someone who can carry a tune, so I’m like, Oh yeah, I can hang with this. And then I quickly realize, Oh no! I can’t necessarily sing along. You’re trained as a singer; you have this long list of Broadway shows. Are you working on anything right now, music-wise, that we should know about?
JK: Not exactly at this moment, but I love the Broadway community, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of a few Broadway shows. I am in talks to do a new show after Kimmy ends. I can’t offcially announce it, but I’m hoping that it’s all going to work out very soon.
EK: Yay! I loved when [your character] Jenna had to sing on 30 Rock. Wait a minute, has Jacqueline Voorhees [on Kimmy] sung yet?
JK: Nope! She has not. Initially, I know Tina and Robert made a clear decision not to [to have Jacqueline sing] just to make more defning lines between Jenna and Jacqueline. We may be doing it next year; I don’t know.
EK: I am so excited to see what happens. I have heard nothing about what happens next season.
JK: Me neither! They left us with so many cliffhangers.
EK: It was so perfect how they wrote the show to leave so many [unanswered questions] to revisit in season two. I’ve heard that Kimmy’s mom might be introduced—I don’t know what kind of person she would be, but it’s exciting even to think about that.
JK: I know. On 30 Rock they introduced Jenna’s mom, and I was so honored when Jan Hooks came to play her. That was one of my favorite memories from that show. We got to sing a duet together. Growing up with the Sweeney Sisters [from an SNL sketch], I was like, I can’t believe this is happening right now. It was the first time Jenna pulled a microphone out of her own purse.
EK: Oh, that is so good! She just carries it around in case of emergency.
JK: Exactly, in case of a singing emergency! I love [Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock composer] Jeff Richmond’s music so much that I really do hope that somehow they open it up to where Jacqueline can sing.
JK: That’s so cool.
EK: Yeah, it’s a good moment to be strong woman, isn’t it?
PhotograPhy by Jim Wright. Styling by Emma Pritchard for goldtEEth & co.
Styling aSSiStancE by andrEa PlachtEr. hair by charliE taylor at honEy artiStS
makEuP by chriStian mcculloc for dolcE & gabbana. beauté: Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Luminous
Liquid Foundation in Natural Glow ($60),
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in Goddess ($34). saks.com. Kérastase Sérum
Oléo-Relax ($40 for 125ml), Powder Bluff ($37).
Warren Tricomi, 64 Park Pl., East Hampton,
324-3036. Exuding lavish, carefree life at sea on the East
End, cover star Jane Krakowski was shot on
location on one of Bruce Tait & Associates’ new
yachts and at Harbor’s Edge, a new 15-condo
luxury development in Sag Harbor. Krakowski
enjoyed luxe accommodations aboard the
87-foot Andiamo yacht that’s available for sale
or charter from Bruce Tait & Associates. At
Harbor’s Edge, our cover star posed against a
backdrop of the property’s rooftop sundeck,
which features a 50-foot lap pool, lounge, and
wet bar overlooking Sag Harbor. The high-end
development is comprised of eight harbor lofts,
four bungalows, and three penthouses—of
which two lofts, a bungalow, and a penthouse
are still available for purchase from $2.7 million
to $6.25 million. Features include high-ceilinged
rooms with private terraces, yards, or balconies,
custom millwork and fireplaces, along with
ample parking and private garages for the
penthouses. Bruce Tait & Associates, 1A Bay St.,
Sag Harbor, 725-4222; Harbor’s
Edge, 21 W. Water St., Sag Harbor, 702-7599
December 7, 2018