Amy Poehler on hosting the Globes, “Parks and Recs” and “Free Birds”

Amy Poehler voices a turkey in love with a turkey voiced by Owen Wilson in “Free Birds.”   Credit: Getty
Amy Poehler voices a turkey in love with a turkey voiced by Owen Wilson in “Free Birds.”
Credit: Getty

“Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler’s latest feature film venture, “Free Birds,” follows a pair of turkeys using a stolen time machine to steer the first Thanksgiving menu away from their ancestors. (She plays a love interest.) But Poehler has plenty to concern herself with in the present day. We spoke with her just before some good and bad news broke for her. First, she and Tina Fey were announced to host the Golden Globes for the next two years. Second, NBC was pulling “Parks and Recreation” from its schedule for three weeks. Still, at least the government shutdown is over.

Even considering the main characters are turkeys, is this really the best use for time-travel technology?
Well, once we start breaking down animated films and the way that they should better use their technology, I think we’re really going to paint ourselves into a corner.

You’re managing to squeeze in a lot of film work between seasons of “Parks and Recreation.”
My schedule with “Parks” is almost like a nine-month schedule with breaks in between, so I have lots of opportunities for hiatus stuff to do.

“Parks and Recreation” was one of the very few comedies that NBC didn’t cancel last year. That must feel at least a little reassuring.
Yep, NBC has supported us by keeping us on. We appreciate that. I would rather do the show than not do the show — that’s what I’ve learned. So many shows have come and gone while we’ve been there. We’re kind of like the patient who watches the other patients die on the table. We’ve been lucky. Certainly it’s tough sometimes to just not know your fate all the time, and we’ve certainly never been a show where we knew our fate. But because of that I think it’s just made us put our heads down and try to control the things we could, which was the work and the writing and the show.

How do you think your character on the show, Leslie Knope, would’ve responded to the recent government shutdown?We were laughing about it. We basically did this in Season 3, which is Pawnee shuts down, but [during the real shutdown] she would’ve just been incredibly depressed. Like, in sweatpants, losing her mind.

It was fascinating to watch, but …
So depressing. My biggest fear is that it will just lead to ambivalence and lethargy, which is the worst — which is the ultimate killer.

You’ve signed on for two more years of co-hosting the Golden Globes with Tina Fey following a great cameo together at the Emmys. Do you two feel any pressure as the go-to award-show fixers now?
That sounds terrible. That sounds like all we can do at this point is disappoint. That’s terrible. We had such a fun time doing the Globes, and it’s been nice to be able to go to those shows in general, to be asked and invited. I’ve been to a lot of them now, and when you don’t win it’s really a funny, fun lesson. Because who cares about winning? Really, honestly. But it’s also a good reminder of how it’s really just fun to get to be there. During commercial breaks they often play clips of old award shows to keep the room warm, and I was always impressed and reminded of how fun and how loose it used to be. Certainly there was competition, but it wasn’t like this weird pressure back then. So we try to take the pressure out of it honestly, selfishly just for ourselves so we can try to enjoy ourselves better. So if people like it, that’s cool.

 


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