Maya Rudolph Congratulates V.P. Candidate Kamala Harris: ‘It Feels Like My Birthday!’

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Photo Source: Will Heath/NBC

The Aug. 11 announcement that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has chosen Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate is newsworthy for all Americans, but perhaps none more so than the actor playing Harris on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; Maya Rudolph, currently Emmy-nominated for her performance as the vice presidential candidate, gave her candid reaction to the news on Backstage’s “In the Envelope” podcast in an episode to air next week.

“It feels really nice to know that someone so capable, fantastic, strong, and exciting is running for Vice President,” Rudolph tells Backstage. “And then on top of it, because I played her, it feels like my birthday! My phone is blowing up.... I’m just so impressed with her to begin with, always have been from the beginning. And it feels like a cheat to just be associated with someone fantastic, so I’ll take it.”

“Saturday Night Live” has featured impressions of real-life figures since the variety show’s inception in 1975, but cast members and guest stars playing politicians in particular can find their opportunities to perform on the show tied to the fate of election results and current events—Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, and Tina Fey have all claimed Emmys for playing Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin, respectively. “You want nothing more than to play one of the big players,” admits Rudolph, who worked on the show from 2000 to 2007 and has since returned to host and guest star. “You always want to be in that spot with the current administration. That’s such a joy to be part of that particular show and what’s going on in that main current of current events.

“And honestly,” she adds, “if it were whatever story that’s going on in the news, I’d be happy to return to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ I love it. It really is my first love and now my family.... The times that I got to play Senator Harris were just such sweet experiences because of that, because it’s a place I love, with people that I love and in a place that makes me feel just like I’m plugging back into a joy.”

Rudolph is nominated three times at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, for her voiceover work on Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” and for NBC’s “The Good Place” and the Eddie Murphy–hosted episode of “Saturday Night Live.” The latter performances are both in contention for outstanding guest actress in a comedy, making her the first actor in Emmy history to be twice-nominated in the same guest category. To hear about Rudolph’s creative process and inspirations in full, stay tuned wherever you listen to podcasts for her episode of “In the Envelope”—coming Thursday, Aug. 20!

Listen to more exclusive interviews on “In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast” at any of the platforms below:

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