In addition to getting rave reviews and crazy social media love for her impressions of Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore and Nicole Kidman (did you see her as Kidman in ‘The Undoing’ in the cold open this past Saturday?!), she has teamed up with the Prisoner Wine Company to encourage people to support the hospitality business in NYC by ordering in from some of her favorite restaurants.
Variety caught up with the 32-year-old comedian from her home in New York City.
How is New York for you these days?
When I was in L.A., I was like New York is going to be like empty and sad and New York. But then I got here and it really felt like Paris in the summer. There’s all this outdoor dining and it’s gorgeous and the dogs are everywhere. New York has a resilience that is miraculous. But I’m still getting cussed out on the street and all that fun stuff.
Why were you cussed out?
At least once a week for something completely unexpected. I had my dog on a leash that was extended and this woman was like, “Move your dog! You’re rude!” It’s an adorable puppy and someone was petting it. It was like ever so slightly blocking her way on the sidewalk.
Let’s talk about your Nicole Kidman during the cold open on “SNL” last weekend. How do you know when you’ve just nailed the impression so well?
That was crazy because I wasn’t planning on doing it in the cold open, but then at 5:30 on Saturday they added it in. I had like two hours before dress rehearsal. She is the greatest actress, but I also go on Twitter to find out what the world is saying beforehand. I didn’t write the jokes about the accent, but I definitely went back and tried to find clips where it slipped a little bit. And then for me it’s always like when the wig is on. The “SNL” wig department whooped that in like an hour.
How big did you want the hair to be, because Nicole’s hair in “The Undoing” was definitely a thing?
I used the same wig on air as in rehearsal, but for on air, we teased it and made it about three times bigger.
I noticed that you made a point of telling me that you did not write the Nicole accent jokes. Do you worry now about running into Nicole?
I worried about that. The last thing I want is Nicole Kidman to find me rude or offensive. I think when I had pitched her at the table in the past, I definitely presented her with an Australian accent. So maybe it is my fault. I take responsibility.
Who’s next for you?
We have Timothée Chalamet this week, so I’m definitely in a rabbit hole this morning, just trying to find ways to make it even better. I attempted Harry Styles last week and that was the first time where I was like, “Oh, I really can’t do this.” And then my dog found the wig and started eating it. I’ve always wanted to do men really badly, but I don’t think I have the Adam’s apple to make my voice low enough sometimes. That’s always the challenge.
Have you been following the stories that the White House purposely waited until after the show this week to announce that Rudy Giuliani had COVID-19?
Of course they did. [Laughs]
Are you and the rest of the cast excited that you could take a break from the Donald Trump skits?
Yeah, definitely. I definitely spent a lot of the early part of the year like being, “Here’s my Kayleigh McEnany” and “Here’s another blonde Republican,” kind of manically like, “This is the last hurrah.” Then I was like, “What are we going to do?” because they’re so funny. But I’m sure Trump is just going to get louder and obnoxious. But it is definitely nice to have the break.
What do you binge when you just want to chill out?
“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” but doing six back-to-back was definitely a lot. I found myself watching anything dark. I watched the Jeffrey Epstein documentary on Thursday night. I’m weird. I don’t know what that is. How intense is my life that that is what is calming me down?
Are you a wine drinker?
I’m definitely a wine drinker, being from the Bay Area and being near Napa. Yes, I would say I’m a wine drinker, but I’m not an alcoholic.
If people bought a bottle of the new Prisoner wines last week with their meal order from STK, Lure Fishbar or La Piazza or through Drizly, they were automatically entered into a chance to win a VIP experience with Prisoner. Why was this the right collaboration for you?
With Prisoner and the other things I’ve done, they’ve all been about supporting New York and hoping that it stays New York, keeping the restaurants open and live performance venues open — anything that keeps New York the way that it is.
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