Maya Rudolph Talks Winning 2 Emmys in 48 Hours for ‘Big Mouth’ & ‘SNL’
The first win was for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for her role as Connie the Hormone Monstress in Big Mouth. The second was for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for Saturday Night Live on which she played Senator Kamala Harris, now presidential candidate Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate.
TV Insider was in the virtual press room at the 2020 Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 19, where Rudolph humbly reflected on her wins, talked returning to SNL this fall, shared what it was like beating herself to win her second Emmy, and revealed how she modeled her Good Place Judge’s robe on the late great Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
On if she’ll play other characters outside of Kamala Harris on SNL
“Never say never. SNL is one of those magical places where you never really know what’s going to happen until 11:30 Saturday night. It sure sounds fun. I’m always game to play. Usually, when they ask me to jump, most of the time, I say how high?”
On not being able to accept her Emmys in front of a big audience
“You know, I am so touched. I think that we’re all pretty amazing humans that we just kind of persevere and we just figure it out. We’re going to keep on going throughout all this and still find a way to celebrate each other. I feel really lucky to get to celebrate something right now. I’m really grateful for that.
“It’s certainly put a smile on my face this week to feel so acknowledged, but I felt that way with the nominations, I have to tell you. I’ve never really had this kind of experience in all the years I’ve been doing TV and stuff. I’m not really looking a gift horse in the mouth these days. I’m really grateful for any moment when we can stop, celebrate and honor each other. I’m really impressed with this — the show must go on. If we have to do it in our backyards, we do it in our backyards. It’s a weird sensation, but it feels really good to feel lucky. “
On why she didn’t tape acceptance speeches in advance for either win
“Yeah, I didn’t really know the drill on that one. That feels a little presumptuous and not to mention emotionally-exhausting. If I’m going to experience defeat, I’d rather not have gone through all the hair and makeup.
“For Big Mouth, I have to thank [creators/executive producers] Mark and Jen Bleckett-Levin and Nick Kroll. That [show] is above and beyond their baby and Connie the Hormone Monstress wouldn’t exist without those three people. We came up with her together. I wasn’t even hired to play her on the show… it was just a one-off thing. They always help me do fun stuff … I’m so touched when I know people well and they have faith in me that I can do something. Connie was a little collaboration of love.
“As far as SNL goes, I gotta thank my main man [executive producer] Lorne Michaels for still having me be a part of the family all these years. I pinch myself every time I walk into [Studio] 8H [where SNL tapes]. I can’t express what it feels like to be part of that history and be a part of that family. I feel incredibly lucky and grateful. When I’m there, I genuinely feel like I’m at home. My husband said it’s kind of my ‘happy place.’ I’m not sure why live television and the stress of that is my happy place but it is. So be it. It’s in a city I love so much even though I’m not a native New Yorker. I just love it. I have my whole life. I feel really indebted to Lorne and my entire SNL family from the top on down. It’s such an unbelievably well-oiled machine and every single person I’ve worked with has been such a major part of it. I’m really lucky to be a part of their team. “
On losing to herself for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
[NOTE: Rudolph was also nominated for her role as The Judge in The Good Place]
“It’s just like kids, you don’t have a favorite. To be fair, I didn’t think I’d win again [on Saturday]. The Guest Actress [Emmy categories] are usually flooded with incredible woman who are legends. I saw a couple of legends in there – Bette Midler (The Politician) and Angela Bassett (A Black Lady Sketch Show) both have me beat in the legend department. I genuinely love all these women. I thought I’d be doing a winners walk for Big Mouth and a loser [in the other category].
“I haven’t felt that lucky lately. [Winning an Emmy] is a foreign feeling, but I’m really embracing it and cherishing it. ‘Maya Rudolph [nominated for The Good Place]’ is in [the other room] crying so, I have to give her a hug. She’s a good sport, though. I was actually thinking about The Good Place a lot. We modeled the robe [my character wore] after Ruth Bader Ginsburg [who died Friday, September 18]. That was an homage to an iconic human being and when you think of judges who are all knowing, who are all powerful, all good … That was pretty cool.”