Fresh from the success of the film “Bridesmaids,” Maya Rudolph returned to her TV roots. This season, she impressed with both her return to “Saturday Night Live” for the first time as host and as a supporting player on the NBC comedy series “Up All Night.”
Former “SNL” writer Emily Spivey developed the role of daytime diva Ava Alexander on “Up All Night” for her friend of 15 years(they met in the improv group The Groundlings). The character is best friends with Reagan Brinkley (Christina Applegate). The pair were slated to be in public relations before a change in focus put them in the world of daytime television.
In a video chat with Gold Derby, Rudolph revealed, “positive mental imagery” played a part in the switch. “Luck played a big part of it. I just thought it was a bigger and more fun choice. I thought it was an environment where we could do more. It took me a long time to figure out who she was.”
If nominated at the Emmy Awards this summer as Best Comedy Supporting Actress, she is considering submitting the episode “New Year’s Eve” (with Jason Lee as her latest boyfriend). Over the course of the season, she worked with a slew of guest stars, including Henry Winkler (as her father), Stevie Nicks, Chris Diamantopoulos, Molly Shannon, and Megan Mullally.
Rudolph will also be on the Emmy ballot as Best Comedy Guest Actress for hosting “SNL,” an invitation that put her in rare company with former female cast members Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler, and Shannon. For Rudolph, “To host ‘SNL’ is beyond my expectations, and it really was a great experience. It’s so rare to work with people you’re so close with and that know you so well. It just makes for a lot of fun. I feel like lately I’ve been able to choose jobs where I get to laugh at work and have fun, and I can’t think of anything better.”