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Jane Krakowski On What She’ll Miss About ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

Culture
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“Every episode becomes a little bittersweet”

Goodbyes are never easy, but they're something that seasoned actor Jane Krakowski has gotten used to, having said farewell over the years to the many iconic characters she's embodied. And while Krakowski says that waving Jacqueline Vorhees, her scene-stealing character on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, goodbye has been difficult, she also says she loves the way the show is ending and its coverage of movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo.

And this might not be a true ending after all; a potential feature-length film is in the works, which is good news for all Kimmy Schmidt fans. We recently spoke to Krakowski about the show’s 30 Rock connection, Jacqueline’s growth, and how the Women’s Movements affected the final season’s story line. Read our Q&A, below.

How do you feel about the show wrapping up?
Every episode becomes a little bittersweet because we realize we're finishing up soon. I will miss all the amazing people that make up our show. It's a crew of hundreds of people that I've known for [a long time]—many of them since 30 Rock started. We spent many years together, seeing our children either be born or grow up. I will also be sad to see Jacqueline go. I've loved playing her, and I love the dynamic that we had. I'm really proud of Season 4 so far. I think the second half of season four is fantastic, as well. The episodes really resonate with what's going on in today's world. 

Did splitting up the season have anything to do with the fact that Season 4 wanted to tackle some more timely issues?
That would be more of a question for [creators] Robert Carlock and Tina Fey because they spent all the time creating the arc of each season in the writer's room. We're not really privy to that talk. I think it's more [of a result of us] filming something while other stuff is going on in the world. Like, a big one [was that] Kimmy Schmidt missed the election entirely because we weren't pressing or filming when it was relevant and happening. That's the one major difference when you're doing network television, where you do 21 or 22 episodes. You're filming as life is happening and as they're airing. There's a much more immediate timeline. I think you have the opportunity to [tackle] more stories that are happening right now. 

[For Kimmy Schmidt], we have a six month to a year out in lead time, between when you make them and when they air. So the story lines can't be as topical, or as on the pulse of something that's happening right at this moment. However, I do think that the #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp movement [are something that have lasted] a longer period of time, so that has become prevalent in the arc of Season 4.

On that note, are you ever hesitant to pursue a comedic project about serious topics and taking on things like #MeToo and #TimesUp?
I have felt entirely safe in the brilliant hands of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock for so long. In this instance and with this show, it's tackled through the eyes of Kimmy. Everything in our story is told through the optimistic and innocent eyes of Kimmy. I think they make a really lovely statement actually. I haven't seen all the episodes, but I was very much drawn to the story of making boys into good men in the first six episodes. I was very moved by that. Perhaps because I am the mother of a boy and one of my goals is to raise a very nice gentleman.

Last season, a lot of people remarked on Jacqueline's profound growth. How is this reflected in Season 4? Where will the final season take us in terms of Jacqueline’s character trajectory? 
To quote one of my favorite lines in Season 4 that got cut in the final edit but I really feel describes Jacqueline: “For 20 years I’ve been #fakebusy, scheduling Bikram yoga uptown, downtown rejuvenation, also uptown, and feeling like I had a full day. For the first time, I’m #realbusy.” 

What is the thing you're going to miss the most about Jacqueline?
The day-to-day good times I have acting with Ellie [Kemper], Tituss [Burgess], Carol [Kane], and our group of players. I will miss the kindness and dedication of our extremely hardworking crew. And I will miss the incredibly crafted jokes and spot-on observances of Tina, Robert, and our writing team. And [Jacqueline's] wardrobe! 

Tell me a little bit about your recent Sonic commercial with Ellie.
I know Ellie and I are both extremely honored to be the first two ladies to be in the car for Sonic... I also just love working with Ellie so much, so I was thrilled to be able to have more comedy time with Ellie, so there's a lot to be grateful for as we wrap up.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 is on Netflix now.

Photos by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for WE Day, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

He also thought Lana Del Rey telling him he would be guillotined was a compliment, so we don't think he understands women

In a new memoir called Then It Fell Apart, singer Moby alleged he had a relationship with actress Natalie Portman when he was 33 and she was 20. But, in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Portman set the record straight, saying that his description of their relationship is false and contains other factual errors, that makes his behavior seem even grosser than it already did.

Not only did Portman say that the two didn't date, but that he also misrepresented her age. "I was surprised to hear that he characterized the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school," she said. "He said I was 20; I definitely wasn't. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18."

She says that they met when she went to one of his shows: "He said, 'let's be friends'. He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realized that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate."

Portman also stated that she was not contacted to fact check this information, noting that "it almost feels deliberate." "That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn't the case," she said. "There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check."

Another part of his memoir describes a conversation with Lana Del Rey, in which she joked about how wealthy he was. "You're a rich WASP from Connecticut and you live in a five-level penthouse. You're 'The Man.' As in, 'stick it to The Man.' As in the person they guillotine in the revolution." His response: "I didn't know if she was insulting me but I decided to take it as a compliment." This only further proves that Moby doesn't understand women at all, which may explain how he took a couple of hangouts with Portman to mean that they were dating.

Moby has since responded to Portman's statement in an equally creepy Instagram post with a photo of him shirtless with the actress, calling the interview a "gossip piece." "We did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years," he said. "I like Natalie, and I respect her intelligence and activism. But, to be honest, I can't figure out why she would actively misrepresent the truth about our (albeit brief) involvement. He also said that he backs up the story in his book with "lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc." He then ends with this: "I completely respect Natalie's possible regret in dating me(to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn't alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history."

Among many other things that are questionable about his claims, if you have to have "corroborating evidence" to prove a relationship that one person claims didn't happen, you're doing the whole "dating" thing wrong.

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Photo by Jerritt Clark / Stringer / Getty Images.

She's been wonderfully honest about the ups and downs of her procedures

There is a good chance that, right now, Cardi B is wearing really something really tight. I'm not talking about one of the pieces from her Fashion Nova collection, either. Instead, she's probably cooing at baby Kulture while swaddled in a compression garment, a necessary part of the healing process after certain cosmetic surgery procedures.

As reported by E! News, Cardi B has had to cancel several performances after her doctor ordered her to rest and allow her body to recover following cosmetic surgery. A rep for Cardi explained to E! that "Cardi was overzealous in getting back to work" and that "her strenuous schedule has taken a toll on her body and she has been given strict doctor's orders to pull out of the rest of her performances in May." This followed an admission by Cardi herself, at the Beale Street Music Festival earlier this month, that she should have canceled her performance because moving too much would mess up her lipo.

Cardi's transparency about plastic surgery is nothing new for her. She has opened up in the past about her underground butt injections, including the financial pressure she felt and the risks she took to get them. She's been open about both of her breast augmentation procedures as well, most recently getting them redone after giving birth to her daughter. But Cardi's transparency about the ups and downs of plastic surgery is still rare amongst celebrities and is therefore refreshing.

And it's not just celebrities who keep quiet about these procedures. The first person I knew to get a butt augmentation was a friend from high school. We reconnected as adults, and I remember going to her apartment after her surgery, and seeing her pace the floor in her compression garment, since it was still too soon to sit and put pressure on her backside. But even in the comfort of her own home, she seemed to speak in a hushed tone about having had the surgery. Before I'd arrived, she just told me she'd had a "medical procedure," and didn't say anything more. This has been the case for other women I've met who have gotten "work" done, including my aesthetician, a colleague who got a nose job, a darling YouTuber with whom I had the pleasure of having dinner; all of them would only acknowledge their enhancements in secret—the shame was palpable, and unfortunate. It's clear that women who get plastic surgery might be celebrated for the results, but there's an expectation that they should keep quiet about it, and feel bad for having made a choice about their own bodies.

So it's no surprise that, in the pop culture realm, people like Cardi are exceptions to the rule. Thanks to the internet, we can easily track the fullness of a celebrity's lips or backside over the course of time without them ever explicitly acknowledging the medical intervention that took place. And while people, of course, have the right to privacy, and should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies without offering explanations, it would still be nice if they opened up, if only to take away the attached stigma that affects so many people. Which is why I hope Cardi's willingness to lay it all out there becomes a trend. No one should have to harbor shame for investing in having a body that looks the way they want it to.

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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

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Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

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Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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