Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Tina Fey: Comedian, Reluctant Actress, and the Woman Who Helped Bring Down Sarah Palin

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Tina Fey: Comedian, Reluctant Actress, and the Woman Who Helped Bring Down Sarah Palin

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

IF YOU ASKED TINA FEY if her depiction of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live helped sway November's presidential election, she'd give you an unequivocal no. In fact, if you tried to credit her with just about anything, she'd be quick to disagree. Even after a year that included an Emmy win, the release of her female buddy comedy Baby Mama, and accolades for her spot-on impersonation of John McCain's running mate on SNL, Fey still seems hesitant to call herself an actress.

Fey initially declined the role of Palin with the rationale that she doesn't do impressions. But people around her kept urging--"I felt like there was this angry mob at the door insisting I suit up"--and she acquiesced. By the time she had done three of the sketches, she started having fun.

"I don't think I would have had the confidence to attempt this five or six years ago," she says. "I think some of it is 30 Rock and some of it is just getting older--you kind of don't care anymore."

Self-deprecation aside, Fey is one of the funniest actresses in film and television, and her portrayal of Palin was profound political commentary. When male comedians like Bill Maher and news pundits such as Jack Cafferty called Palin a moron, they were called sexist. But when Fey--hair twisted into an updo, glasses on--said, "I can see Russia from my house," she was able to mock Palin's simplicity and escape unscathed.

As a woman, and safely in the realm of comedy, Fey as Palin could say, "Don't think I don't tolerate gay people, because I do. …

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