Emmy chat: Jane Krakowski discusses ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ character


When we last saw Jacqueline Voorhes in Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” she was reclaiming -- or attempting to, anyway -- her Native American identity and becoming her own woman after her marriage had fallen apart.

Sure, she could barely see in the end after she chucked her blue-tinted contacts, but that’s beside the point.

Krakowski stopped by The Times on Friday to discuss her role as Kimmy’s self-aborbed boss and the character’s journey in the first season, from wealthy Manhattanite to a lost and vulnerable wealthy Manhattanite who sorta has a breakthrough. And Emmy voters took notice: Krakowski is a contender in the category of supporting actress in a comedy for this year’s awards.


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“I have great sympathy for Jacqueline,” Krakowski said. “To be a person who worked so hard to change who she was, from the A to Z journey that she took, and that they wrote for her, is a really complicated person to me. I love that she found some sort of, ‘I’ve got to go home and find my real truth.’”

But did Jacqueline find it? Production on season 2 begins next week in New York, and Krakowski made sure to be careful of what she said about what’s coming up.

“I’ve read episodes 1 and 2, so I know where we pick up,” Krakowski said. “So it is very interesting to see -- the transformation and the old characteristics that we enjoyed to watch are still there.”

Does she have her contacts back in?, I asked.

“Am I allowed to reveal this stuff? I don’t know,” Krakowski -- who does know! -- said.

But Krakowski was more forthcoming with some behind-the-scenes details about something else.

In late July, after their appearance at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills, Krakowski, Tituss Burgess and Tina Fey had fans going gaga over a video of them lip-synching Beyonce’s “Flawless” that Burgess posted on Instagram.


That it would cause a frenzy is no surprise considering “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” has produced more than its share of standout music moments, from the ear worm of a theme song to the rhyme-tastic “Peeno Noir.”

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Krakowski filled us in on how their musical moment materialized. And it was partly, believe it or not, Fey’s doing. Krakowski said Fey started playing her “favorite jams” on the flight, among them Beyonce tracks. In the midst of them playing, Burgess had reveale to Krakowski that when he hears “Flawless,” he thinks of her.

“[Tituss] said, ‘Let’s do something,” Krakowski recalled. “And suddenly Tina goes, ‘oh, I’ll be in it.’ I thought it was for us to show our grandkids. I didn’t know he’d post it anywhere. ... The next day, I wake up and I was like, ‘wait a minute. How do people know this?’”

But Krakowski didn’t stop there. Watch the above video to get her take on the comedy’s move to Netflix from NBC, her thoughts on some of the backlash her character’s Native American backstory received ... or just watch to hear her belt “Peeno Noir.”

I tweet about TV (and other things) here: @villarrealy

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