Since catapulting to fame on the TV show “Saturday Night Live,” Amy Poehler has acted in and produced her own series “Parks & Recreation” and appeared in films like “Blades of Glory” and “Baby Mama.”
She has also carved out a voice-over career in films including “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Horton Hears a Who!”
Poehler returns to theaters Friday as the evil Gretel in the animated film “Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs Evil.” In the movie, operatives from the Happily Ever After agency, including Red Riding Hood and Wolf, must thwart the sinister plans by Gretel and her brother Hansel.
Poehler, 39, spoke to Reuters about the film, her TV show and being a mother to two little boys.
Q: Hansel and Gretel were not in the original 2005 “Hoodwinked!” film. What made you come aboard for the sequel?
A: “It’s always fun to play a bad guy. It was a delight to play someone with a foreign accent and a mean disposition. What I really like about animation is that you can really go for it and make broad choices that you don’t always get to make in other mediums. It’s fun to go big.”
Q: Did you enjoy working alongside your former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Bill Hader, who voiced Hansel?
A: “It was really fun. The first time I went in to record, Bill and I did it together. Then we went back and did some stuff on our own. Being together that first time was really helpful too, especially when it’s someone as funny and talented as Bill.”
Q: How did you nail that German accent?
A: “I did not go to a dialect coach. With animation, you get to do singular lines over and over again so there’s more time to work on the voice. We got to play it back and listen to it and decide which parts sounded too German or not German enough.”
Q: Last summer you had your second child, Abel, with husband Will Arnett. Is animation a way of creating a body of work for your children to enjoy?
A: “What’s fun about doing movies like ‘Hoodwinked!’ and other animated stuff is it can be around for a long time and your kids might relate to it when you end up having kids. So suddenly doing animation means something different, which is really cool.”
Q: You had Archie (your first son) at the end of 2008, just as you were ending your time on SNL and about to begin headlining your very first series with Parks. Talk about everything hitting all at once!
A: “These past couple of years have been a blur! I know how unusual it is to get to do all that stuff and start a family. Those things don’t always happen at the same time. When it does, it’s bananas! But you just hold on and enjoy the ride. The last two years have been super busy and I’ve gotten to work with so many terrific people and do stuff I’m really proud of.”
Q: You’re wrapping up season three on “Parks,” where your character, Leslie, has earned you an Emmy nomination. What can we expect to see on the show in the future?
A: (The fictional town of) Pawnee, Indiana continues to be a place filled with glorious weirdos who have very little power but big dreams. We’re going to see some cool stuff that’s changing in Leslie’s life that if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll like.”
Q: Do you ever reflect on your life and see how far you’ve come professionally and personally?
A: “Well, I’ve been working really hard for a long time. I was lucky that I got to work for a while before I got well known. I don’t feel like it happened overnight and it was always at a steady pace. Right now, I’m standing very close to the pointillist painting that is my life, so I don’t have the distance yet to look back and reminisce about it.”