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30 Rock Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Sherri Shepherd

This is an interview with Sherri Shepherd (Angie Jordan) on March 11, 2011 about the show 30 Rock.

Question:
What is it like being married to Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock? And are you the Queen of Jordan?

Sherri Shepherd:
It's a blast, moving. It's funny being married to Tracy from 30 Rock. You know, from the first time I got on there it's just been so much fun with the entire cast and especially being married to Tracy. I think when I did my first episode with him I was a little intimidated because I didn't know if he'd want this like totally voluptuous woman to play his wife because all I've ever played have been secretary or best friend. And so I was a little scared when I first walked into the set and he saw me. And he said I love a big girl. We're going to have fun. And that was about three years ago.

Question:
What does it mean for you personally and career-wise to be a guest star on 30 Rock?

Sherri Shepherd:
What a show to be on. I'm very thankful to Tina Fey that she called and asked me to to come on the show. I'd never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be back and they would write an episode for my character. So I am feeling like in the world. It's just really nice to be working with the people that I work with, Alec Baldwin and Tina and Tracy. I am having a lot of fun. I love the fact that I get to do the View and I get to go and play with those crazy people of 30 Rock.

Question:
With all the things that you do - The View, the Newlywed Game, your TV Guest appearances, your upcoming movies, and your upcoming TV pilot - how do you balance your time? And which media fulfills you the most creatively whether it be stand up or Broadway or TV or movies or the View? What fulfills you the most creatively and how do you balance your time with all of that stuff?

Sherri Shepherd:
You know what, each medium is so different. I love doing everything. I love, like I said I love being on The View. That's something where I get to share my opinion and talk with girlfriends. And then I get to go over to the other side and play and be an actress and get to play this crazy, crazy person named Angie Jordan. And then I get to go and do a film like Precious and bring out the dramatic side. So it is really fulfilling.

When I was a legal secretary and dreaming about this in my wildest dreams I never thought that I would be blessed to do so many different things. And do my stand up and make people laugh, that really fulfills me. So can I say which one fulfills me the most? I can't answer that question because I just I love being able to do it. And I'm thankful that Barbara Walters gives me the time off to be able to do this.

Question:
If Tina Fey invited you, and you didn't have your upcoming TV pilot on TV land, would you want to join 30 Rock as a regular cast member if it could be worked out with The View?

Sherri Shepherd:
You know what? Are you kidding me? In a heartbeat I would go over to 30 Rock. And you wouldn't even have to say anything. I'd be over there going where's my dressing room? Give me the script and let me memorize my lines. I love that show.

Question:
As far as your upcoming pilot is concerned, is it going to be filled in New York and what is the premise of it?

Sherri Shepherd:
They will move it to New York yes. So it absolutely would accommodate my View schedule. And it's the tentative title of it is Soda Jerks. And it's about a woman, Christine Taylor who comes to a small Midwestern town and takes over and how we deal with this new woman coming in with these new ideas. And I'm one of the office workers in the sitcom.

Question:
Which is more intimidating to you, being with the cast of 30 Rock or being with the cast of The View?

Sherri Shepherd:
On The View, the cast, they're not intimidating. But acting is what I've been doing for a long time and standup comedy. So being on The View was probably a little bit more intimidating because sometimes you say your opinion and you get in a lot of trouble. Joy Behar said to me my first day as soon as you open your mouth you're going to lose half your audience. And we have found that out.

You know, I give my opinion and I get a lot of people who go I will never support you in anything you do and then some people love it some people hate it. So that's always a little bit more intimidating to go out there every day and be fearless and state your truth and hope to goodness that everybody knows you and doesn't hate you that day.

Question:
When you do get negative feedback from the fans, how do you process that personally? Does it really hurt you or have you sort of been able to put that aside and go on with the job?

Sherri Shepherd:
You know, that's what I'm paid to do. I am paid to give my personal opinions. If none of those ladies sat at the table, if we didn't give our opinion it'd be a pretty boring show. And so you have to learn to get a hard shell is what I would say. We don't take it personally. We get along really great because we respect each other. And I just learned to state what my truth is. My truth is not everybody's truth.

There are a lot of people who relate to each woman at that table. And so I just learned to go out there and tell the truth and as I see it and I go home and I let it go. I can't worry about everybody who blogs and who disagrees with me and people who don't like me anymore. The thing that I worry about is when I go home am I taking care of my son? That's the most important thing in my life. And can I look in the mirror and go yes you did all right Sherri.

Question:
Going back to 30 Rock, do you have any more appearances after next week's appearance? And is there any cast member of 30 Rock that you wish you had more scenes with?

Sherri Shepherd:
I hope that they bring me back. We don't have anything right now in the pipeline so I'm hoping that they bring me back. Is there anybody that I would love to work with? McBrayer. I don't think I get enough scenes with McBrayer. But I get a lot of scenes with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey and Tracy. So I would say McBrayer is one of the ones that I really wish we could have some more scenes together. I'd love to do a film with Tina Fey. I think we'd make a great duo in a film of Thelma and Louise.

Question:
You mentionedthat when they first asked you to play Angie you didn't know if it would be an ongoing thing. Do you have a sense of why they keep inviting you back?

Sherri Shepherd:
You know, I don't know. I guess you could just see a different side of Tracy with having his wife around. And you get to see what keeps Tracy sane. And you get to see okay everybody in Tracy's family is a little bit off. And I think that's what keeps me coming back. And I I get along very well with the cast of 30 Rock. So I guess I bring a certain quirkiness to that show as well. So I'm just thankful they keep asking me. I tell you I didn't think I was going to get asked back. So every time they call and say we want you back I'm screaming and jumping up and down and screaming.

Question:
You mentioned with The View that all you can do is give your opinion and be honest about it. And you've written books where you really been honest about your life. Was that something that was hard for you to do to kind of open up yourself like that or is that something that came naturally to you?

Sherri Shepherd:
Well I think it was natural. I've always done it in my stand up. And I think any person who does stand up and is successful at it has to be - has to tell the truth, has to tell what their truth is. And I've been doing that since I first stepped onstage being truthful about my life and kind of letting people into what's going on in my life.

And that's why I had a sitcom. I had a sitcom based on my stand up of a lot of people don't talk about that they're husband cheating on them and then leaving and having to raise a kid. And so I think it becomes pretty natural. I think when I first guest hosted on The View that's the first thing I talked about. Hey my husband cheated on me. What about you?

Question:
That's kind of how you've always been with your stand up?

Sherri Shepherd:
Since I was little my parents always told me so think before you speak. Why do you keep telling everything?

Question:
You are a host, game show host, talk show host, actress, a movie actress, and an author. What do you think it is that allows you to be successful in so many different mediums?

Sherri Shepherd:
Oh wow I don't know. I just I love what I do. Everywhere I go I just love being wherever I'm at and just being in that moment. And I think it's just a thing of you have to go to do what you fear the most. You know, and the day when I wake up and I sit on the edge of the bed and say oh my God what is that thing that makes my stomach tingle, okay I've got to do it.

And I think that has allowed me to kind of do a lot of things that I would not have normally done. When they asked me to host the Newlywed Game I said I was scared to death I've never done that before. And I just said you know what I'm so scared yes, I said yes. I didn't even think about it. I'll do it. And it turns out it's the second highest rated show on the game show network.

Question:
And so what is it scares you now that you're about tackling next?

Sherri Shepherd:
Producing a show that where I'm not necessarily in front of the camera but behind the camera. That's a scary thing to go in and pitch something and go okay I'm going to be - I got a little taste of it being a producer of my own sitcom which was Sherri, called Sherri. So now actually going in a room and pitching something where I'm going I'm going to produce this ah, scared me to death but which means I'm going to do it.

Question:
Do you ever think you'll get to the point where you can relax or do you like being kind of this busy with this many hands in different things?

Sherri Shepherd:
Girl I don't think anybody in this business ever, even the most successful person in this business, goes I can relax. I think this is the most unstable business ever to be in. Even when my fiance was thinking about marrying me I'm like do you know I could not have a job tomorrow? You are always sitting there going what else can I do now especially while things are hot. I don't think anybody ever stops and says yes I can relax now and go water my flowers. So you're always hustling.

Question:
I know on 30 Rock your character is getting a reality show. Could you tell me what reality shows you like or don't like and why?

Sherri Shepherd:
I love the reality shows. I like Top Chef. I cry every Sunday at the show were they build the houses. I mean I'm sitting there and I'm always tweeting going oh my gosh the human spirit just absolutely amazes me. Dancing with the Stars is my show and any dance show.

I'm not so much into the shows where you've got a bunch of people fighting. I don't like those kind of shows. The Queen of Jordan is one of those shows, but I'm not a big fan of the housewives shows because I look at these grown ass women and I'm going what the hell is wrong with everybody? You guys get the craziest people to put on these shows. I'm more into shows that inspire people, that uplift people and encourage people. I walk away from any housewife show and go this is just ridiculous.

Question:
What's been your favorite part of planning your wedding? Have you and your fiance butted heads on anything yet?

Sherri Shepherd:
I'm still I've got five months to go and I still haven't gotten my guest list together. I have five more spots and 52 people to invite. It is a nightmare. Now my fiance, it's his first time being married. It's my second. So he's more like the happy bride. He's got his guest list together. He's been fitted for his tux. He is so excited.

Me I'm just like oh my gosh I want to hang myself because I don't know who to invite. Andy Dick tweeted me the other day publicly, not even a direct message, publicly and said you are inviting me to your wedding aren't you? And I went you know what? I guess I am. So it's just like who do you invite and who do you slash?

Question:
Do you have any plans on how to get fit ready for your wedding? Do you have any specific goals for yourself or workouts?

Sherri Shepherd:
We both have a goal, my fiance and I, to lose 30 pounds by are the time we get married which is August which is very doable. It's five months. That's about almost what, 5 pounds a month, 7 pounds a month which is really doable. So we have been working out at the gym and we've been working out together. And I'm working out with a woman named Kira Stokes at the Reebok Club out here in Manhattan.

And we're just trying to eat right. I just finished having a salad with some shrimp so I'm looking at calories now. Because I don't care what anybody says. They could say oh you look beautiful. You still want to fit into a size freaking 6 wedding dress. You're going to be immortalized forever. You really want to look cute for that day.

Question:
Do you have any wedding colors in mind yet?

Sherri Shepherd:
Deep purple and my bridesmaids' dresses are by Carmen Marc Valvo. And that's as far as I've gotten. I've got to go try on a wedding dress. I don't know, I don't have shoes. I've got to go find hair.

Question:
What has been your favorite moment so far on 30 Rock?

Sherri Shepherd:
Oh I've really had a lot of fun playing Angie on the Queen of Jordan because it has allowed me, this episode that's airing is the craziest one I've ever done on 30 Rock. And it has allowed me to go crazy. You know, there's a fight with me and Tina. There's some more hair pulling out. They gave me a very tender moment of crying. I've got to do it all in this show. I even get to curse. And I said to them are you going to bleep out the curse words because my dad is a deacon at his church? He's going to kill me?

So I get to go absolutely crazy on this show and I'm really looking forward to it. And I think my - probably my favorite moment is the very first episode that I did with Tracy we played a sex game for our anniversary with Alec Baldwin in the hotel room. I had to get my clothes ripped off about 13 times that day. And I was so self-conscious by the end of the day I was walking around in front of Tracy and Alec with a corset and high-heeled boots on not even a problem.

Question:
You spoke briefly like about the reality shows now. You have Wendy Williams on Dancing with the Stars this season as well as Kendra Wilkenson. Who are you rooting for this season and why?

Sherri Shepherd:
I am rooting for Wendy Williams. I am going to be voting for Wendy Williams because Wendy inspired me. If she is able to stay up with those boobs I think I'm doing it the season after her. So Wendy is like my bar. I will be voting every day for Ms. Williams.

Question:
If you could star on any reality show what would it be and why?

Sherri Shepherd:
It would be Dancing with the Stars. I love to dance. Dancing with the Stars I would love to go out there and kind of show women that if you just run toward what you fear I think it'll be some great stuff on the other side. So I really if it wasn't for my schedule I would be trying to do Dancing with the Stars.

Question:
What is the one thing that's off the table for you, one kind of acting or producing job you would never ever do?

Sherri Shepherd:
There's not a lot of things that are off the table. I'd like to try a lot of everything. I think anything for me I want something that my nieces and nephews always can come and watch me in. So anything where I looked at Black Swan and I immediately I thought good but Natalie Portman because there is no way I could even pulled any of that off.

So some things I just know I know the lane that I swim in. And my thing is I make people laugh. So that's pretty much the direction I'm always going in. I give props to Monique for Precious. I don't think I could've done that. You know, thank goodness for Lee Daniels who gave me a little small part. I auditioned for a small part in Precious which was actually supposed to be funny role. It turned out to be a little bit more dramatic. But I think I probably am more making people laugh.

Question:
How's Angie and Tracy's relationship in this episode?

Sherri Shepherd:
Angie and Tracy's relationship is doing well although in this episode Tracy, he leaves. He goes to Africa and I have to do this reality show myself. And so they're trying to trick me into getting Tracy back. So and through it all Angie loves her Tracy Jordan no matter what he does. She might put him out the house, she might be mad at him but they have a love that just endures.

Question:
You mentioned earlier that Angie and Liz will be having a bit of a cat fight. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Sherri Shepherd:
Well it's because Liz is trying to trick Angie into getting Tracy back home so they can continue with doing the show. And so Angie and Liz have kind of a love-hate relationship. Deep down Angie always thinks that Liz wants her husband. And so it's always that thing. And she doesn't want Liz telling her what to do because she wants to be the numero uno woman in Tracy's life. So it's always kind of it's always kind of a power struggle between Liz and Angie because Liz is also the number one woman in Tracy's life. So of course we get into it because you've got two alpha dogs fighting for a position in Tracy Jordan's life.

Question:
Did you enjoy working with Tina Fey on those scenes?

Sherri Shepherd:
I loved it. I absolutely love working with Tina Fey. She's funny and we're both mothers. Our kids are the same age. And I got the job because see I was on Ellen DeGeneres Show and I was talking about my son was just born. And I was talking about pumping and how that breast pump makes our breasts look like crazy. And Tina Fey was watching the show pumping at the same time and so that's how we connected. And so whenever even between the camera breaks we're talking about our kids, because we're both mothers. So I love Tina. I am very thankful that she made me a part of 30 Rock.

Question:
How is your relationship with the ladies of The View? Do you guys hang out off stage and are they invited to your wedding?

Sherri Shepherd:
Yes of course all my ladies are invited. Barbara Walters is actually giving me a bridal shower. Elizabeth Hasselback is one of my bridesmaids. So they are all invited.

Do we get to hang out? Not as much as we did the very first season because everybody's so busy. Joy has her show on HLN that she leaves every day after The View to do her other show. Whoopi is producing Sister Act on Broadway. And Barbara Walters has 87 jobs. So as soon as we leave The View we have to go and work so we don't get to hang out as much which I hate. I keep telling everybody can we do a slumber party? Can we go bowling? Can we play softball? So just trying to get everybody's schedule together it's a little hard now.

Elizabeth and I hang out because we have kids the same age. Jeffrey goes swimming with Taylor, Isaiah and Grace. And we actually had dinner at Elizabeth's house. It was so funny because Elizabeth sent me an email and she said what does Jeffrey eat? What are his allergies? And I told her and she says okay we're going to have this great dinner. And then I get over to the house and she gives me a takeout menu to order my dinner. We had this huge dinner that was all takeout. And I love her because she's just a regular mom just like me.

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