NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, December 11, 2015, 4:00 AM
Tina Fey’s strategy when meeting fellow A-listers: Keep it short to avoid doing anything dumb.
Like when Barbra Streisand dropped by the set of “Sisters” — starring and produced by Fey — to visit her husband, James Brolin, also in the film.
“My move for someone that famous is always that I’m going to have one brief positive interaction and then I get out of there before I do something stupid,” Fey tells the Daily News.
“So I was just like, ‘Hi, nice to see you, your husband’s so great.’ And she said, ‘Yeah I know he is.’ ‘OK, we’re not trying to steal him. We’re going to give him back.’
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for the new movie, ‘Sisters’
“Then I was like, I’ve had a good interaction, I’m going to move it along now.”
When she’s not schmoozing with singing legends, Fey and pal Amy Poehler take part in the coolest group text in the world.
The stars, who play neurotic siblings in “Sisters,” the raunchy R-rated comedy opening Friday, keep up a group text convo that also boasts fellow “Saturday Night Live” vets Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer, and writers Paula Pell and Emily Spivey.
“We’re in touch, thanks to the magic of group text,” Fey says about the pack that rivals Taylor Swift’s Girl Squad.
‘Amy and I both worked in broadcast TV for so long, so yeah, it was fun to let it rip a little bit. We definitely wanted to make sure there were jokes beyond just cursing and being dirty,’ said Fey.
“All the ‘SNL’ women who were together at the time, we are in touch literally every single day, sharing pictures of our family and relating dumb things that happened to us. So that’s a great support network that we have.”
So when Fey, 45, and Poehler, 44 — cohorts on- and off- screen since they worked together in Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe 20 years ago — get to work together in front of the camera, the chemistry is undeniable.
After their career-making parallel runs on “Saturday Night Live,” including sharing the Weekend Update desk, they both appeared in the movies “Mean Girls” and “Baby Mama,” and co-hosted the Golden Globes for three straight years (2013-2015).
Fey, left, plays Gov. Sarah Palin, and Poehler plays Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in a memorable 2008 ‘Saturday Night Live’ episode.
Enlarge Paul Drinkwater/AP
Fey, left, and Poehler had a three-year run as co-hosts of the Golden Globes.
“The only time I get to hang out with Amy (in person) is for work stuff,” says Fey, who’s based in New York while Poehler’s on the West Coast. “A lot of times they seat us next to each other at the Emmys, which I’m really excited about. The only reason to try to keep making television shows is to get to go to the Emmys together.
“So yeah, it’s few and far between, so we get very manic and talk very fast when we see each other in person because we always have a lot to catch up on.”
Every once in a while, Fey gets the band back together in front of a movie camera. Directed by Jason Moore and written by fellow group-texter Pell, “Sisters” follows a pair of 40-something siblings — strait-laced Maura (Poehler) and wild child Kate (Fey) — who decide to throw a bash for their old high school pals in their childhood home after discovering their parents (Dianne Wiest and James Brolin) are selling it. The guest list is packed with plenty of Fey’s “SNL” buddies, including Randolph, Dratch and Bobby Moynihan, each playing manic characters.
And for once, Fey gets to be the one to spew out the profanity-laced dialogue — so sexually charged that it would make Amy Schumer blush.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler with director Jason Moore on the set that started to smell rank by the fifth week of shooting.
“It’s like a privilege to curse,” says Fey. “Amy and I both worked in broadcast TV for so long, so yeah, it was fun to let it rip a little bit. We definitely wanted to make sure there were jokes beyond just cursing and being dirty, but I’m not going to lie. I curse a fair amount in real life — not in front of my children — but I’m pretty good at it.”
Speaking of Schumer, Fey downplays any notion that she helped pave the way for female comics that followed.
“I wish I could take credit for Amy Schumer,” says Fey, who famously kissed the “Trainwreck” star on the lips at the Peabody Awards in June. “I wish there was some kind of comedy nose swab we could do to link her to me, but I think she’s her own person.”
Fey was never the party type: The best real-life debauchery anecdote she can come up with involves a Golden Globes afterparty she and Poehler threw where Kristen Wiig got the dance floor started.
The pair have been working together for two decades, since their days at Chicago’s Second City.
“I’m going to (go wild) in my 60s. That’s when I’m really going to go off,” she vows.
As for that bubble bath scene in “Sisters” where Fey and Poehler share a tub, an image immortalized in posters plastered all over New York subway stations, Fey says she wouldn’t have jumped in there with just anyone.
“We have bathing suits on underneath the bubble bath,” says Fey. “The fact that I was barefoot under there with another person, that really says a lot (about our relationship).”
This film was important to Fey because it marks the first time she’s produced for the big screen. That meant having to watch the crew build an expensive house interior on a soundstage just to destroy it over the course of the shoot. And that led to other occupational hazards.
“We shot the party scenes so we could destroy the house as we went, and it did get destroyed,” Fey shares. “The set was just so stinky. You’d put out a bowl of chips and salsa in week one and it’s still sitting there in week five. The same guacamole is sitting there.”
Couldn’t she just budget for fresh guacamole every day?
“No, we gotta keep it above the line,” Fey deadpans. “I can’t take that kind of money out of my salary.”