You may see Maya Rudolph walking around Ventura Blvd. or eating in a Studio City restaurant. She works on the show Up All Night which shoots at the .
This summer, invited the Television Critics Association to the set to meet the stars. We spoke with Rudolph about her favorite Studio City haunts and big changes for her character, Ava.
Last year, Ava was a talk show host for whom Reagan (Christina Applegate). Reagan’s baby was an adjustment for Ava, who was used to having a party buddy. Not only is Reagan’s baby a year older now, but Ava is losing her talk show. Remnants of the “Ava” set were still scattered around the soundstage where Rudolph was speaking to reporters.
Q: Even though your character doesn’t have a baby, you have kids in real life. Have you contributed any personal stories to the writers?
Maya Rudolph: Not so much personal. There have not been any Ava baby stories but I’m just contributing ideas, absolutely. They still pretend they listen.
Q: What’s your golden rule of parenting?
MR: I don’t have one. I think the truth is the golden rule is to not let your children know that you’re making it up as you’re going on.
Q: How do you like working in Studio City, on this lot and outside in the town?
MR: I love Studio City. If life could be like working on the Radford lot it would be heavenly. It’s so comfortable here. I get ready right there. I get dressed upstairs. I come down these stairs, I work right here. The farthest I have to go is the other stage for the Brinkley house. Then is in the neighborhood. Oh my God, those cheeses. They have a chocolate covered cheese. Did you know that? If you want to try it you should try it.
Q: Everyone always gets nostalgic about working here. What is it about Radford that makes actors misty eyed?
MR: You know, I think the size of it is really comfortable. You’re not far from each other. It feels cozy. It doesn’t feel overwhelming like Hollywood. It just feels like a place where you work and it’s compact. It’s nice. You can drive around. Isn’t this where they used to do Gilligan’s Island? Don’t they have the moat somewhere. I remember as a kid somehow coming here for like a visit or something and getting to see the water.
Q: Did Ava like the studio as much as you do?
MR: Yes. She did. Let me ask her, hold on. She liked it.
Q: Are the Ava offices about to be torn down?
MR: That’s correct.
Q: What happened?
MR: There was a fire. No, they haven’t said. They said that the show was cancelled so you can only imagine it was probably the ratings I guess, but it could’ve just been ratings or somebody more successful.
Q: What does that mean for Ava?
MR: She’s going to have to do a lot of soul searching. I think she’s at a place in her life, especially having close friends that have a family, a successful family, and she’s on her own, I think she’s going to be doing a lot of soul searching and trying to figure out if this is the path that she wants to continue on or if she wants to do something different.
Q: Is Ava looking for love?
MR: Definitely, definitely. It’s a big year for her. She’s turning 80. No. I think as we were figuring out who she was in the first season, we were also realizing a lot of her weaknesses and flaws and this nice way, to make her relatable, to make her somebody who actually has heart and there’s a reason why she and Reagan are good friends. I think that she’s probably one of those ladies that’s sort of been a workaholic and put her career first and turned around and realized oh wow, where’s my life? I think this is probably a good time for her to reflect.
Q: Are you excited to shoot a season where neither you nor Christina are pregnant?
MR: Yeah. That was one thing I think we both noticed right away. I’m not pumping while I’m giving this interview. I mean, I was pumping and driving to work every single day and my son was six weeks old when we started last season. It was madness and he’s now this enormous tank of a baby and it just feels like hey, we did it. He’s one. We got one under our belt. It’s going to be okay.
Q: How did you get back to fighting weight after your pregnancy?
MR: I’m not at fighting weight but thank you for saying that and I’m just going to take it and be positive about it.
Q: You look great. How did you get this far?
MR: Nothing. I was a skinny person before I had kids and I’m different now. My bones are in different places and my feet are a different size. I don’t even recognize my bras anymore. Everything’s different and you just have to buy new clothes which isn’t that bad.
Q: How are the hours on this show?
MR: Well, it was only yesterday was our first day but I’m exhausted. I mean, I’ve been back east working so I haven’t really had a break but on the days that I was off doing Grown-Ups 2, we were in Massachusetts so I got to spend time at the beach with my parents which was nice but you know how it is when you come back from summer vacation, you’re all weird. I got all time change. I’m just going to blame it on the jet lag.
Q: What are you watching on TV?
MR: I haven’t watched TV in a while, not gonna lie to you. I’m pretty tired. My daughter just got bunk beds so getting my two and a half year old to sleep is an exercise in patience. Oh, that’s not true. I’ve been watching the Olympics.
Q: Is there anybody you’d like to have on this season as a guest star, maybe an old “SNL” buddy?
MR: God, yeah. There are so many great people. It’s one of those things again where I can’t remember anybody. Someone says, “Oh, I love that show, you and Snoop Dogg.” I’m like, “Oh, yeah.” It’s a time where it’s a high pressure situation, it’s a live show so you’re coming up with new ideas and you’re writing stuff and you’re up so late. I almost said up all night. I find myself saying it all the time. Then you’re doing a live show and it’s over and you’re onto the next show. If you’d name them, I would say yes. It’s so hard to remember. One day I’ll remember. “SNL” was also the luxury of being a working actor invited to a cool party. We got an amazing guest list every week and it was all these normal nerds and then a movie star. It’s a really incredible dichotomy I think. Then everybody sort of ends up coming together. It’s very beautiful. So that was really cool because you see people all the time and you spent a week with them. It’s like doing movies every week.
Q: Congratulation on Emmy nomination.
MR: Yeah, I got an Emmy nomination, thanks. My first one.
Q: Did you celebrate?
MR: I did a dance. Yeah, I did celebrate. I’m sure I drank something.
Q: Is that still thrilling after all the success you’ve had in the business?
MR: It’s the only Emmy nomination I’ve ever had. It’s totally thrilling. The coolest thing about being nominated for anything is getting to call my grandma and tell her because she is the most excited person. Even if I get nominated for like the ESPYs which that wouldn’t make any sense, but no matter what the nomination is, my grandmother is so thrilled. So what could be better? Making your grandmother proud! I’m pretty psyched. And she said I was on the cover of the Miami Herald for my birthday because I turned 40. So she was like, “You were on the cover of a Miami Herald People page!”