Thursday, December 3, 2015

Maya Rudolph Feels Left Out In Comedy, 'Sisters'

John Leguizamo and Maya Rudolph

By Darlene Donloe
Maya Rudolph knows funny. She does it very well. Whether she’s cutting up on Saturday Night Live (SNL) – where she was a featured player for seven years, or she’s displaying her comedic chops in such films as Bridesmaids – she delivers the hilarity.

On SNL Rudolph’s memorable portrayals included Whitney Houston, Donatella Versace, Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey.  In 2014 Rudolph starred in the comic-variety show special The Maya Rudolph Show.

Up next for the versatile actress is a turn in Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s latest film, Sisters, set for nationwide release December 18.  Yes, December 18!!! The same day as the Star Wars release. Bold move. In anticipation of the beloved and iconic sci-fi flick doing well at the box office, Sisters has initiated the hash-tag  #YouCanSeeThemBoth.

In Sisters, Rudolph plays Brinda with an “i,” a woman Rudolph describes as a “dickhead.”   It’s a role she relished playing, especially alongside her fellow SNL alums.

Fey and Poehler have solidified their place in the annals of comedy history, both as individual talents and as an exceptional comedy team.

Everyone knows them from Saturday Night Live and most recently as the dynamic duo that brought the house down each time they hosted the Golden Globes.

The chemistry between Rudolph, Fey and Poehler is palpable. It’s electric! It’s magic!

(l-r) Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

I caught up with Maya Rudolph recently to discuss the film and her friendship with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Q: In describing your character, you called her a “dickhead”.

MR:  I stand behind my description.  She’s a delightful dickhead who has held onto the feeling of being left out.  She wants and wanted to be let into the party of life.

Q: Were you a Brinda – meaning a dickhead?

MR: I was not a Brinda. I was a theater rat. I’d wear a Fedora or captain’s hat. I was friendly, a nerd. Maybe I smoked a little pot.  

Q: Describe your working relationship with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Also describe your friendship with both ladies.

MR: Actually, I just met these two ladies. (laughter)  No.  We’ve known each other since 1985. Actually the year was 716.  I was trickling in when Tina was doing Weekend Update.

Q: What about Amy?

MR: When I met Amy, I said, ‘she’s going to be good.’  I feel very spoiled because I get to work with the funniest people I could ever meet in my life. We are family.

(l-r) Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Q:  Anything else?

MR:  We’re fucking smart and shit. We have a bond that’s insanely unbreakable.

Sisters, written by Paula Pell and directed by Jason Moore, stars Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, John Cena, John Leguizamo and Dianne Wiest.  Amy Poehler, Jeff Richmond and Brian Bell executive produce.  Tina Fey, Jay Roach and John Lyons produce.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Sisters (Universal Pictures) gets and O (oh, yeah).

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