While we wait for a second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, we’ll just have to keep watching the first season over and over. Netflix brought the cast back for a summer panel with the Television Critics Association, and we got to speak with Jane Krakowski afterwards. Netflix rescued the show after NBC decided not to air it, and now it’s one of the streaming service’s biggest hits!
Krakowski plays Jacqueline Voorhees, the wealthy socialite who hires Kimmy (Ellie Kemper). Jacqueline keeps herself busy but really wants to get her husband’s attention. The show reunites Krakowski with Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, for whom she played TV star Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock. Krakowski also appeared in the movie Pixels, now out on Blu-ray and DVD, playing president Kevin James’s wife. If you remember every line of 30 Rock dialogue, you’ll recall there was a joke about that before she ever played his first lady!
There’s a lot of jokes that Jacqueline’s husband has a foot fetish, so do you get extra nice pedicures especially for this show?
We’ve got to start doing that. Why didn’t I think of that? That’ll have to go on the Netflix rider.
What do you think it is that’s inherently funny about a foot fetish?
Oh my gosh, you’re right, that’s true. I don’t know. I feel like there’s an inherent awkwardness with feet. Isn’t there an inherent awkwardness with every fetish in some sort of way? I don’t know. For feet being exposed so much, I’m not sure why there is a [fetish]. I wonder if Tina has a foot thing. She writes about feet a lot. There was a throughline for Liz Lemon that had a foot storyline as well. I think it just comes from Tina’s mind, the foot thing. Now that I’m thinking about it more, I got an awkward e-mail, more than a year ago now, that a childhood friend of mine who I went to grammar school with apparently Googled my name, and the second thing that came up is “Jane Krakowski feet.” So I don’t want to know anything more about it. I have never pressed it. I just think it’s weird that it comes up before many other things.
Do you have a favorite line of yours from Kimmy Schmidt?
So many. A plethora. One of my favorites though, and it was the first time I was like, “Okay, wow, we’re going there.” It was when Kimmy says my dog Abattoir hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a few days and I say, “Oh, they bred that out years ago. Someone’s anus is purely decorative, isn’t it?” It was maybe one of the first lines I thought, “Wow, is this going to air on NBC? That’s one of my favorites but I’m not sure that’s going to make it to network television.”
So Netflix saved that line!
Yeah, and a bunch of others. I’ve had a lot of lines back once we moved to Netflix in the re-edits, whether they were because of the content or cut for time, I’m not sure. It was a lovely thing to get some minutes back.
Are you finding that Jacqueline has more similarities to Jenna Maroney than you thought?
This comes up a lot. Initially, I think I was a bit surprised, but I get the association because of all the years that we did get to work together, and I think a lot of the cadence of the comedy is very similar. I think what was wonderful about having the show released on Netflix was to see the A?to?Z journey of this character. Initially, if you just watched episode one or two, you would see more similarities to Jenna versus how the character grew. I think Jacqueline’s such a wonderful, brilliant gift that [they] have given me to play and I think that she is just worlds more vulnerable than Jenna ever was. I think it was lovely to see her come to some self?realization actually instead of deluded-ness ultimately.
I saw you in Pixels playing Kevin James’ wife. I have to ask, was that a live-action re-enactment of that one line from 30 Rock about playing Kevin James’ mean wife who he’s tired of having sex with?
I can’t believe you remember that because I just cut and pasted that line and forwarded it to Tina [Fey] and Robert [Carlock]. I said, “Perhaps Jenna knew more about her future than Jane did.
Does Kevin have a sense of humor about that?
He does, absolutely. He’s one of the most adorable comedians I’ve ever gotten to work with. He’s a super sweet guy. It was a great pleasure to work with those guys but that line was not lost on me when I got cast.
The only original Griswolds in the new Vacation were Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Would you have been game to reprise your role as Cousin Eddie’s daughter if they’d asked?
Oh, my gosh, yes. I can’t wait to see it. From the commercials and trailers, I enjoy that they say the son doesn’t know the original vacation and he goes, “The new Vacation will stand on its own.” I wish I was in it. Even if it wasn’t my character, just as one of those Easter eggs.
I would want you to be her all grown up though.
Right, that would be great. I think they did that though in Vegas Vacation, right? I think she grew up a little bit but it would be good to see where she is now. I’m still amazed that I can turn on the TV almost any week and that movie still comes on. I was 12 years old when we filmed that movie.
I was 12 years old when I watched that movie.
Great, so we were going through puberty together.