When you were a DJ at bar mitzvahs, what were the popular tracks?
Paul: Well, there were a couple. MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" was pretty popular. And Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt" was a huge crowdpleaser. Then there were just kind of classics, like "Mony Mony" and "What I like About You" by the Romantics. I don't know if—I've been out the bar mitzvah DJing scene for a while now. I don't know if they are still popular, but they were big hits when I was spinnin.'
Tina, did you have similar experiences?
Tina: Of being a DJ? I made cheesesteaks at a swim club snack bar, so that my mom could get free access to the pool all summer long. My brother did it for years. Then she transitioned me into doing it so she could continue to have employee access to the pool. And I worked at a YMCA outside Chicago. My hours were like 5:30 in the morning to like 2:30 in the afternoon. That was my first real job.
As an actress and even more so as a writer, what is the secret to great comedy?
Tina: Oh gosh, obviously try to surround yourself with people who are really funny and good at it, like Paul.
But when you're writing?
Tina: Well even then, try to surround yourself with other people and write together, that always helps. And trust your own instinct on what's funny to you instead of trying to think of some magical outside idea of [what's funny].
Was it hard to shoot some of the scenes in this movie without laughing? Like the shower scene?
Tina: There are so many built-in humiliations in a thing like this. And also I feel like it was like one o'clock in the morning [when we shot that.]
Paul: And I think it might have been like one degree.
Tina: Yeah! We shot that shower scene very late in the evening.
Paul: It was cold.
Tina: Just out of frame I'm wearing—as I always am wearing—a rolled down bikini top. And they get you one like, "Oh we'll get you a skin-colored one just in case it shows" but it's a weird tan bikini top and then like Jamz, and Crocs. And you're standing on a barn floor. And so it's already ridiculous!
You didn't need to wear that Paul?
Paul: I didn't have the rolled down bikini top but I did have the Jamz, and I think I might have had the Crocs too.
Tina: Because it was not clean!
Paul: No, we were in a barn. And so it's cold and all the steam you see, it's not real—
Tina: It's like dry ice steam.
Paul: Yeah, it's all fake. So it's not—
Tina: It wasn't really a shower, it was thing that was built and put into a barn. So there was a guy named Phil, same guy who was in charge of helping us make the calf give birth props-wise, and he would just—
Paul: Phil's the real magician behind our film!
Tina: And he was pumping the water from somewhere.
Paul: God knows where.
Tina: You always had the fear that the water was going to turn ice cold at any second.
Tina, do you see this as Act Three in your life now that 30 Rock is done?
Tina: I see it as a series of increasingly larger grifts that I'm running. 30 Rock was more of a shell game, this is more of a real estate Ponzi scheme that I've perpetrated on America. Well, this happened while 30 Rock was still going, on a summer hiatus. And it felt like a really lucky thing to be offered to do, and a part that made sense. Like I always am enthused when I see a part where people speak intelligently and speak like adults but also I go, "college admissions lady, do I look like that? Yeah, I could look like that. " I look like that more than perhaps Denise Richards looks like that. This makes sense.
You got called a cougar though, so…
Tina: It's in my contract.