For better or worse, the television shows we watch as youths have some influence over our political identities as we come of age. (It’s often easy to spot the people in politics who had their brains poisoned by The West Wing in their formative years.) Few of these shows have the benefit of being truly timeless politically. But 30 Rock—for all its glaring faults—managed to be pretty prescient about today’s entertainment landscape and often incisive on political matters through its odd couple Republican-and-Democrat friendship, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey).
Just ask one of the series’ longtime fans, Jennifer Lawrence, who can chart her political awakening back to watching NBC’s classic satire. Lawrence grew up in a Republican family in Kentucky and, she tells Vogue in a new profile, experienced her first doubt about the ideology at age 16 when “Liz Lemon said something along the lines of, I’m not a crazy liberal. I just think people should drive hybrid cars.” Finally, working-class hero Liz Lemon gets the respect she deserves!
The actor’s political consciousness continued to evolve after she got rich. (“Nobody likes to see half their paycheck go away, but it made sense to me. Yeah, for the greater good, I guess it makes sense.”) She struggled with Hollywood’s pay gap (“It doesn’t matter how much I do. I’m still not going to get paid as much as that guy, because of my vagina?”) and the “punitive” feeling of having her nude photos leaked to the world.
Unfortunately, like many Americans, her family back home was still entrenched in opposing beliefs. “I just worked so hard in the last five years to forgive my dad and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they are getting is different. Their life is different,” shares Lawrence, who also admits to talking to a therapist about Tucker Carlson nightmares. “I’ve tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry I’m just unleashing, but I can’t fuck with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have to be political. It’s too dire. Politics are killing people.”
Lawrence used to be relatable in a loves-pizza-and-trips-on-the-red-carpet kind of way, and now she’s relatable in a pulling-your-hair-out-over-parents’-politics way. Throughout the profile, she muses on the overturn of Roe v. Wade, gun rights, climate change, and memorably calls Senate candidate J.D. Vance a “rich twat.” (“I mean, I’m a rich twat, but I’m not running for office pretending that I’m not.”)
“I don’t want to disparage my family, but I know that a lot of people are in a similar position with their families,” she frets. “How could you raise a daughter from birth and believe that she doesn’t deserve equality? How?” Much like 30 Rock, the question is dubiously timeless.