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Is Tina Fey pulling for Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin? You betcha

June 09, 2012|By Randee Dawn
  • "YOU HAVE to muster the maturity to leave it," Tina Fey says of "30 Rock." "But we're all going to be a mess."
"YOU HAVE to muster the maturity to leave it," Tina Fey says of… (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles…)

Tina Fey owes Sarah Palin; after all, it was Fey's spot-on impersonation of the former Republican vice presidential candidate that helped earn her an Emmy for"Saturday Night Live" in 2009. But this year, while Fey will almost certainly be up for television's top award again for her show"30 Rock," it's quite likely that another actress will get a nod for her Palin posturing.

And Fey couldn’t be happier for Julianne Moore, who nails Palin in the HBO movie "Game Change."

"She’s fantastic! She is so good," says Fey in a broad conversation with The Envelope. "I thought she was unbelievable -- she really did things with that role."

Moore came with one truly great advantage over her in creating the role, Fey says: "Julianne has a much more natural resemblance to her than I do. She has a stronger jaw line."

There’s really no way to compare the two performances, adds the comedian: "If we were doing anything similar, we both would have been doing something wrong."

But their approaches to creating the former Alaska governor were also fundamentally different -- Fey was going for laughs, while Moore wanted viewers to empathize on some levels with Palin. “You try to take who the person really is and turn it up a little bit and then find some kind of hook to it so it becomes like a recurring sketch character,” says Fey about how she creates a persona from a real-life individual. “Some impressions are incredibly accurate, and then there are ones like Dana Carvey’s George H.W. Bush, and that becomes its own character. That’s the ideal -- because then the writers have a hook in how to write it. That’s what I was trying to do.”

So, come September, it’s possible that two women may end up winning Emmys for different takes on the same role. As for Fey, she’s still just trying to keep her grip on reality. The moment when she was watching “Game Change” and saw Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, watching Fey’s impersonation of Palin on “Saturday Night Live,” was a true exercise in surrealism.

 “Our society might be collapsing on itself,” she grins.


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