‘Kimmy Schmidt’ Emmy Contender Jane Krakowski Vows to Work With Tina Fey ‘Forever’ (Video)

“It’s such a dark underbelly with such a light, optimistic tone,” five-time nominee says of her Netflix sitcom

A version of this story on Jane Krakowski first appeared in the print edition of TheWrap Magazine’s Comedy/Drama/Actors Emmy Issue.

It was a quick, easy email. “I wrote ‘YES,’ put an exclamation point and pressed SEND,” said Jane Krakowski of her response when Tina Fey told her there was a part for Krakowski in a new show from “30 Rock” creators Fey and Robert Carlock.

“I had no idea what the character was,” she said. “I didn’t know if it was a main character or a guest spot. I just trust in them so much.”

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For good reason. Krakowski spent eight seasons and landed four Emmy nominations on “30 Rock,” playing Jenna Maroney, a dim and self-centered actress written to be the anti-Tina.

“The character description said they needed someone blonde in hair color and in spirit,” said Krakowski.

“They needed somebody who was the opposite of Tina Fey: the opposite of smart, the opposite of grounded, the opposite of clever, the opposite of kind. And they saw me and said, ‘You’re the one!’”

Photographed by HollenderX2 for TheWrap

“30 Rock” was such a rewarding experience for Krakowski, who’d also received a Golden Globe nomination for “Ally McBeal,” that she jumped into “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” without even waiting to know she’d be playing the juicy role of Jacqueline White, a rich New York divorcee with a curious Native American heritage and a distinct lack of parenting skills.

“What got me hooked on the show was when I learned that it was about a girl who was kidnapped in a bunker for 14 years, but that when she went on the ‘Today Show’ they gave her a gift bag and said, ‘Thank you, victims!’” said Krakowski, 47.

“It’s such a dark underbelly with such a light, optimistic tone,” she said of the series, which completed its second season on Netflix earlier this year.

Photographed by HollenderX2 for TheWrap

Krakowski is currently on Broadway in the hit musical revival “She Loves Me,” but in Fey and Carlock, she said, she’s found lifelong collaborators. “I’d be very happy to work with them forever,” she said. “I love their writing, I love their sense of humor, I love how hard they still challenge me comedically, and give me stuff that I wouldn’t get to do anywhere else.

“It’s a very rare moment in your career when you’re working for the people you would most want to be working for, and I feel that way with them.”

See more of TheWrap Magazine’s Comedy/Drama/Actors Emmy Issue:

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