Tina Fey would like to see more women directing movies, but don’t expect her to add directing to her own resume anytime soon. The Emmy-winning actor, writer, executive producer and show co-creator told an audience at the Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday that while she has a deep respect for directing, she continues to see movies and TV shows “from a writer or actor’s point of view.”
“I don’t really care about cameras,” she told her longtime friend Damian Holbrook, a senior writer at TV Guide Magazine, who moderated the conversation. Fey added that every time someone has tried to explain camera angles to her, she finds it hard to pay attention.
Still, Fey is hardly playing it safe by sticking only to what she knows, as she’s currently working on a musical adaptation of “Mean Girls.” Her Netflix show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” also has one of the darkest premises of any TV comedy, and her latest role in the film “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” sees her playing war correspondent in Afghanistan. She even did some of her own stunts.
“I jumped off a thing,” she said. “It looks ridiculous.”
Though some of Fey’s most memorable acting roles have come alongside her “Saturday Night Live” co-star Amy Poehler in comedies like “Baby Mama” and “Sisters” — not to mention the three times they hosted the Golden Globes together — Fey said that she and Poehler probably wouldn’t be co-stars in a TV series together.
“We’re actually both alphas,” she said. “It works in short spurts.”
Asked what her hardest acting role ever has been, Fey responded that none of her movies have been particularly challenging from an acting standpoint.
“I don’t have, like, my ‘Danish Girl,'” she said. “Nothing like a real actor would say, ‘That was hard!'”
Fey joked that she suspects most actors rely more on talent than skills they’ve developed over time. “I feel like most actors are just working with what they have,” she said. “Very few people in the world are really virtuoso actors. Most people are just trying to get through the day.”
So what kinds of roles for women does Fey think are missing from movies?
“As a mom — a very square mom — I look for role models for younger women that are not super-sexualized,” she said. “I think the balance tips to looking really hot, but that [also] leads very quickly to slut shaming.”
On the latter point, Fey added that she was not speaking from personal experience. “That’s one thing no one could ever say about me,” she said.
Watch the trailer for Tribeca entry “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” below.