Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview: Jane Krakowski — Coming to a Computer Near You; Part 1

Jane Krakowski is taking on some of Hollywood’s most iconic roles, but you won’t be able to see this transformation on next season’s 30 Rock. Jane has made a series of webisodes, in conjunction with Breyers Smooth and Dreamy ice cream, which gives a modern take on some classic movies.

Jane explains how the idea of doing the webisodes came together: “When they sent me the script, I loved that it was a modern woman’s take on Gone With the Wind and King Kong with the knowledge of what the movie is. Our heroine can make these outside comments — comments that are very modern and witty. I found that there was a lot of humor to be found there. We did a lot of improvising. I really enjoyed the creative freedom that you can get by making a webisode.”

Jane fearlessly takes on the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, as she seemingly shares the screen with star Clark Gable. “I was so impressed with the advances in green-screen technology and how it was so seamless,” Jane says.

“In the Gone With the Wind one, Clark Gable moves my chin three inches, and it’s exactly the way it was in the movie. It’s just astounding what they can do — and the amount of experts who were on the set at all times, covering the eye angles and making sure that every body angle was exact. It wowed me when I saw the final product.”

Jane was especially eager to shoot these comedy shorts — not only because the idea really intrigued her, but also because she truly is a fan of Breyers. “Breyers called asking if I would be interested in doing these webisodes. They sent me an example of the advances in green-screen technology, and I was just blown away by what they could do. Plus, I’ve been a fan of Breyers ice cream since I was a little kid. I didn’t like milk as a child, so my mom used to let me have Breyers ice cream for breakfast.”

Another fond memory Jane has of her childhood is filming the hit movie, National Lampoon’s Vacation. She is especially surprised by how people respond to her character, Cousin Vicki.

Jane remembers: “That was my first movie ever. When you make a movie, you have no idea the longevity it will have. It’s so amazing to me how much people remember that movie. They stop me on the streets and quote my lines. It’s become its own cult classic of that genre.”

With co-stars like Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid, one can imagine that it would be a fun shoot. “Filming was a BLAST. I was 12 years old at the time, and we filmed my scenes in Colorado. Chevy Chase was so nice. We were filming over the Fourth of July weekend, and he rented a parking lot in the area we were in and had fireworks delivered. He threw a whole celebration for us. Everyone was so generous and nice to us kids, and we had a really fun time making the movie.”

Next season on 30 Rock, fans might be treated to a Vacation reunion of sorts. Jane explains: “I think Harold Ramis, who directed Vacation, is slated to direct an episode of 30 Rock next year, so it’ll be fun to work with him again so many years later. I really hope they can schedule him in.”

But you don’t have to wait until next season for Jane to make you laugh: Head over to to see Jane’s latest webisodes of King Kong and Gone With the Wind. Don’t miss the feature where you can put yourself in the movie and enter a big Hollywood sweepstakes. And tune in next week when Jane discusses her experience on Ally McBeal and her current job at 30 Rock.