Vulture spoke to Tina Fey at a 30 Rock celebration hosted by Entertainment Weekly last night (the show is premiering its seventh and final season in a matter of hours). And though our hearts were heavy, we managed to get through the conversation with minimal tears — and just a little bit of lizzing. We’re professionals …
Your husband, Jeff, just said that you’re working on the Mean Girls musical. Can there please be a whole “Fetch” production number?
Oh, yes! Oh, good. I like that. I’m pretty sure — I’m confident that Paramount will give us the permission to work on it, but I think he’s secretly been working on it for years! [Laughs.] He’s been in there, in his office, working on it for a long time now, yeah.
“Fetch” is a made-up word in that universe. What are some of the made-up words you’re going to miss from the 30 Rock world? What are your favorites?
I mean, sometimes they come out of skits, skits that we’re shooting in our writers room, so that’s where “lizzing” and “high-fiving a million angels” came from. Some of them came from my daughter [Alice] when she was smaller and didn’t speak as well. [Laughs.] “I want to go to there.” I remember our head of post, when we were trying to cut that episode down to time, said, “We could cut that,” and I was like, “I think we should leave it,” and I’m so glad we did, because you never know what’s going to stick in people’s brains.
What’s coming up this season to help wrap things up? Liz is trying to have a baby with Criss …
They’re trying to have a baby, so Liz has to face her disinterest in sex and find a way to enjoy it. I don’t know why the fact that it’s James Marsden isn’t enough for her to enjoy it, but it’s not. But it becomes structured and scheduled and unromantic, and now that she can put it on a spreadsheet, she’s finally onboard. And Jack is dating a number of women, a different woman for each of his different needs, and there’s one woman who he refers to as his “sex idiot.” Jack is also on a mission to destroy NBC, to lower its value so they’ll have to sell it.
What do you think the last day on set is going to be like?
Oh my God, it’s going to be horrible. For years, I’ve been doing this joke whenever Jack McBrayer would finish, I would say, “That’s a series wrap for Jack McBrayer,” or, “That’s a career wrap for Jack McBrayer.” And now that’s going to be true of all of us.
Liz Lemon is such an iconic character. How are you going to let her go, and would you ever want to revisit her at a later point?
I have no idea at this point. I hope what we figure out for the ending will be satisfying in a way, you know, where we’re leaving her, and for a while, we know she’s going to be all right. I don’t think 30 Rock lends itself to a $70 million movie, so we may be leaving her. I don’t know, maybe a series of novels. I could novelize Liz Lemon. Sure.
Which is harder to let go of: the character or running the show?
I keep trying to tell my husband and Robert Carlock to be ready. At SNL, you knew at the end of the season you were going to hit a two-week depression. It’s hard to stop. And this has been a longer run and a harder run in a lot of ways. I think it’s going to be like when people run a marathon and they throw up at the end.
You know how when you break up with somebody, it takes half as long as you were with them to get over them?
I hope it doesn’t take that long! [Laughs.] That would be three and a half years.