Quite often, movie reporters are fans of the people they interview; it's more rare to be friends with a star's mother.
When Tina Fey and Paul Rudd sat down to participate in a roundtable interview with several reporters at the press day for their new film Admission on Feb. 8, they could not have expected what soon would go down. Within minutes of the session -- which The Hollywood Reporter attended -- one Kansas City reporter took out a bag of assorted items, a seeming hodgepodge of souvenirs and miscellany. She then told Rudd that she knew his mother, who lives in Kansas City, and that she had a series of his possessions she wanted to give him -- or, to finally get out of her house.
Soon the reporter passed over a book about musician Kenny Loggins, and an odd, old-looking container of cologne -- which, upon sniffing, Fey said "smelled like the '70s." The messenger then handed Rudd and Fey shirts from the University of Kansas' basketball team, which they held up while taking it all in stride.
The cologne made the rounds, passed from one reporter to another, so that they could take a sniff. Then, the interview -- a grab bag of questions about both their new film and other projects -- continued. Some highlights:
Fey, on starting another sitcom (she recently signed an overall deal with Universal): "My writing partner [Robert Carlock] and I definitely want to develop another series at some point, but it was such a drain on family life, you know -- 16-18 hour days to do a single camera series that we want to try to figure out a way to do it easier. More easily would be how you say it in English."
Fey, on her role in the upcoming Muppets movie: "I think I work primarily with Kermit. So I’m pretty excited."
Rudd, on how his son Jack blew his chances of attending Princeton (the film is about an admissions officer at the school): "When the dean of Princeton was there, I wanted her to meet my son, who’s 8. And I was building him up. I was like, 'I hate myself in this moment.' … She asked him a question about something, and instead of being rude and just saying nothing, he actually spelled it out. 'What have you been doing today?' 'N-O-T-H-I-N-G.' "
Fey, speaking of Rudd's interactions with the animal life in the film: "I will say I was a little scared of that one horse. That one big horse that -- I was like, 'I’m good with horses, it’s fine.' And this one horse came over and was licking his arm, and when it walked away his whole arm was blown up, like an allergic reaction."
Fey, discussing working from a script that she didn't write : "It’s really nice to be able to just show up and know that the work has already been done thoughtfully and caringly. At the same time, if we did have questions about the script, everyone was totally open to talking about stuff."
Rudd, on whether Judd Apatow would make another film about the family depicted in Knocked Up and This Is 40: "Maybe. I think it’s that kind of joke where it’s like, 'We could do this every 10 years,' but I think it would depend on how successful this one is."