Jenny Slate answers our 11 questions

Jenny Slate answers our 11 questions

On Michael Dukakis and her crush on Jeff Bridges

In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.

Though she may not yet be instantly recognizable to the general public, A.V. Club readers will undoubtedly know Jenny Slate for her turns on shows like Parks And Recreation, Kroll Show, Bob’s Burgers, and House Of Lies. (Or even her one-season turn on Saturday Night Live, where she said “fucking” in her very first skit.)  Her latest role is as aspiring comedian Donna Stern in the smart new movie Obvious Child, in theaters today.

1. Who could you take in a fight?

Jenny Slate: I don’t think I could. I think I would feel too bad if I beat up someone who was weaker than me and then everybody else would be stronger than me.


2. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?

JS: Well, it’s so unfair, because there’s so many of them that come through SNL. So I’ve met a lot of them because of that, but before then, it was Michael Dukakis.


3. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

JS: The worst job I ever had was working at American Apparel. It was so gross. I worked at one of the first ones they had in New York in 2005 and it was when people still thought American Apparel was a cool place that cared about sweatshop-free labor. I started to work there because they gave health insurance to their full-time employees, but I didn’t get it because I didn’t work there for long enough. The owner, Dov [Charney], would come in there and sexually harass everybody and then also give us really long, weird speeches about how everyone thinks he’s a hero because he’s doing sweatshop-free labor, but, in fact, he’s only paying these people a few cents more, but they’re doing it in L.A. So I was like “this is hell, this is so gross.” I really didn’t like it there. And I would just sit there and listen to this asshole talk and then he’d say, “Hey! Let me see you in that gold bikini!” and I’d be like, “No. No, thank you.”


4. What’s the most shameful line on your resume?

JS: I think the number one regret for me are those shitty panel shows on VH1 where you comment on celebrities, like “top 10 celebrity falls down the stairs,” or whatever. “Top 10 Celebrity Embarrassments.” I don’t like those. I think they’re really gross and cheesy and half the time you’re saying stuff that you didn’t even write, but it was so early on in my career that I never said, “No, I don’t think this is funny.” You’re saying these gimmicky bits, but you have to say them with this sassy attitude, otherwise you won’t make it onto the show and at the time, you don’t understand that it’s good not to make it onto the show.


5. What did your parents want you to be when you were growing up?

JS: They wanted me to be not an asshole. They always knew I wanted to be an actress, so no surprise at all. They were always encouraging, but they didn’t let me audition for anything as a kid, except for school plays and stuff.


6. Who would be your pop culture best friend?

JS: I wish it would be Stan from Mad Men, but I would want to just hang out with him, I don’t know if he’d want to hang out with me.


7. What game show would you be good at?

JS: I’m really good at Wheel Of Fortune. I’m like really good at it.

AVC: Really?

JS: Yeah, in my house.

AVC: People are always like, “Oh, Wheel Of Fortune isn’t a game of skill,” but it totally is.

JS: It is a game of skill! And some people are so dumb on it, too. God, sometimes I scream at the TV, I scream at it! It’s a game of skill, but, like, low skill. It’s not Jeopardy.


8. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever read about yourself on the Internet?

JS: Well, one time this guy tweeted at me 11 times in a row. He was getting progressively more angry about how I was ruining Homeland, and I’ve never been on that show. Like, “You’re the worst! I hate your face! You’re ruining it, my favorite show Homeland, which you are on!” Which I’m not, but you’re still hurting my feelings.

AVC: Did you respond to him?

JS: No, I never responded. It’s not worth it. At all.


9. What’s your favorite curse word?

JS: Shit.

AVC: Why?

JS: Because it fucking rules! [Laughs.] You can say “shithead!”


10. If you had to be on a reality show, past or present, which one would you choose?

JS: I’m so frightened of reality TV. Are there any with like animals? No… Well, it would be great to be on Top Chef, but then I’d want to be a judge.

AVC: Would you want to be one of the people the challenge is centered around, like Chris Pratt in the Seattle season?

JS: I’d want to be one of the people that gets to go through with the chefs. I would want to be on the season that had the lady, and I talk about this all the time, that said, “kookies” instead of “cookies.” I’d want to yell at her, because that’s not how you say that.


11. Who over 60 do you find yourself attracted to?

JS: Jeff Bridges.

AVC: Easy enough.

JS: Jeff Bridges is great. Robert Redford: Excellent. Yeah. Jeff Bridges. My God.


Bonus question from Jon Lovitz: If you could be any other performer other than yourself in any other movie or TV show, who would you want to be and why? 

JS: I would want to be Jeff Bridges. He’s so free and chilled out, and he seems smart and non-judgmental, and he has a lot of love for other people and himself. I would like to be in that state of mind.

AVC: Any specific project?

JS: True Grit.


What question do you want to ask the next interview subject? 

JS: Who seems like the most responsible celebrity?

AVC: Who do you think is?

JS: Matt Damon. 

AVC: What makes you say that?

JS: He just seems really socially conscious. He seems like a good dad. 

I don’t know. He’s Matt Damon! He’s great. He seems like a nice person and his whole family seems really nice. Like when he talks about his wife or his kids, it all seems cool.

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