Every year, Variety issues their Women's Impact Report in which they highlight women in the entertainment industry that they think deserve some praise. From industry executives (like United Artists bigwig Paula Wagner) to household names (like Angelina Jolie), the list spotlights some strong, smart, intriguing ladies. For the next few Wednesdays I'll focus on some of the women who I find particularly noteworthy as well. Last week I told you about filmmaker Adrienne Shelly, and today I'm spotlighting Tina Fey.
Frankly, I'm always looking for an excuse to write about Tina Fey, one of my favorite funny ladies. It's no accident that she turns up in Variety's report in the "multitaskers" category, because she's made her mark as a writer, as a producer, and now — with her Emmy-nominated role in "30 Rock" — as an actress as well. But she doesn't just multitask professionally; she's also a mother of an almost-2-year-old, and she lists her vocation in her Variety profile as "writer/performer/diaper-removal expert." For more about Fey, read more
One of the things I respect most about Fey is that she always seems to be looking for her next challenge. As the Variety profile states, moving from "Saturday Night Live" to scripted comedy has forced Fey to develop a whole new sense for what's funny:
So just when she has the entire routine down pat and acts as a stabilizing force on a show that's constantly in flux, Fey leaves 30 Rock for "30 Rock," moving over to primetime and forcing herself to rethink everything she's worked so hard to learn.
Fey has also tackled comedy in yet another form: feature film. She wrote and performed in the adaptation of 2004's Mean Girls — still one of my go-to movies when I need a pick-me-up — and now she's starring in the upcoming Baby Mama. I've always found Fey refreshingly relatable as a performer, and she clearly wants more funny women in the spotlight; as she states in the Variety profile: "Women are always asking themselves, 'Should I act or am I just a writer?' But I'm sure Ray Romano and Jerry Seinfeld aren't questioning themselves."
It's a rare thing, even now, to have a network sitcom helmed by a woman; it's rarer still to have that woman be a mother. But Fey does all that — and more — with style and humor to spare.