Maya Rudolph: ‘I’m not a woman in comedy. I’m a comedian’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive on 2015-12-07 21:18Z by Steven

Maya Rudolph: ‘I’m not a woman in comedy. I’m a comedian’

The Guardian

Tom Lamont

She’s been a Saturday Night Live regular for years, with her hilarious celebrity send-ups, and she hit the global bigtime as the bride in Bridesmaids. So why is Maya Rudolph now playing nasty?

Inside a hot studio, on a hot day in Los Angeles, Maya Rudolph is being photographed in a dress that’s luxurious and snazzy but doesn’t breathe so well. She manages her discomfort by changing voices and pulling faces – by slipping in and out of other people’s skins. Now she’s a 40s movie star, slurring vowels and giving sidelong glances. Now she’s Jamaican: “My hair is turning electric, mun.” For a while she’s Maya Rudolph – 43-year-old actor, comedian, Californian – and then she’s Texan, brassy… Beyoncé! “I need some more booty room in this dress.” As the shoot winds down, Rudolph lies on a sofa and silently channels Burt Reynolds. She says she has a particular image of Burt in mind, one from the 70s in which he posed nude for Cosmopolitan on a bearskin rug. Watching on from a corner of the studio, I call up the picture on my phone, for comparison. Nailed it…

…Rudolph had an uncommon upbringing. Her mother was the African American singer Minnie Riperton. In 1975, three years after Rudolph was born, Riperton had a worldwide hit with a ballad called Lovin’ You (“Is easy cause you’re beautiful”). Her father played guitar for his wife on the road, and the Rudolph-Ripertons would tour the country together. Some of Rudolph’s earliest memories are of watching her mother from the wings of shows, or of sleeping in creepy hotels. One year, she lost a tooth, when the family were gigging through casino territory, and she woke up to find a poker chip under her pillow…

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