It literally is Jenna Maroney like you have never seen her before when NBC's freshman hit 30 Rock returns for a new season on Oct. 4. Until then, fans of the super-funny sitcom can relive last year's best moments via the DVD set now in stores, as well as cozy up to this Q&A with Jane Krakowski, who Jenna-rously shares a peek of the fresh hilarity to come.
TVGuide.com: Are you still shooting the season-opener with Jerry Seinfeld in it?
Jane Krakowski: We were the other day, yeah, but he's done now. He was hilarious. I'm hoping maybe they’ll "supersize" the episode because they did so much good stuff with Jerry, I feel like the rest of us won't be in it! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: He's playing himself?
Krakowski: He is, yeah, which is fun. Our show tip-toes that whole fine line between the reality of what's going on at NBC and our fictional world of "The Girlie Show," that blend I really love.
TVGuide.com: Did I hear that when the new season picks up, Jenna will have spent her summer doing "Mystic Pizza: The Musical," and as a result has gained some weight?
Krakowski: That is true, and I think it's genius! I love the idea that she has done "Mystic Pizza: The Musical." It's such a great play on her world and my world. She had to eat four slices of pizza on stage for each performance, so that’s why she gained 40 pounds.
TVGuide.com: Was "Mystic Pizza" regional theater or at least, like, off-Broadway?
Krakowski: Oh, no, it was Broadway! [Laughs] In the script it was stressed to say "Broadway," because Broadway is the street. Broadway is the theater world.
TVGuide.com: Does she turn to pilates to get back into shape?
Krakowski: It's hard to explain but she becomes quite famous for being one of those "bigger girls" on TV and being proud of her curves, and because of that she becomes happier, her self-confidence goes up and she ends up losing a lot of the weight naturally — which is detrimental to her career!
TVGuide.com: What else might we learn about Jenna this season?
Krakowski: She was once a Mouseketeer! I love that she was engaged to David Blaine and a Mouseketeer. I really don’t think I'll ever get a character better than this to play. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Was she a Mouseketeer at the same time as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears?
Krakowski: She doesn’t say, but unfortunately I think I'm a bit older than they are. But I like the pedigree of being a Mouseketeer!
TVGuide.com: From where you're coming from, what is Jenna outright dumb about, and what is she smart about?
Krakowski: Oh, that’s a tough question. Um... gosh.... Part of it is Jenna thinks she's smart about all of the things, and thinks she is making the right choices....
TVGuide.com: Do you consider her morally casual?
Krakowski: [Laughs] Is she morally casual? Ohh... I don’t think she is, and then there are scenes where she slept with that extra by accident. And she uses her "sexuality"....
TVGuide.com: Right, I remember when she told Liz she would have to "use her sexuality" to solve something....
Krakowski: "Yeah, when has that ever worked?"
TVGuide.com: Hey, it got her into the White House.
Krakowski: [Laughs] That’s right!
TVGuide.com: Are we going to see as much of Alec Baldwin this season? That whole thing with what he said on The View hasn’t actually gotten him a reduced workload?
Krakowski: I don’t think so. It's full-on Alec Baldwin. As much as last year, maybe even more. He's in great spirits, being hilarious. It's a genius character. It's all good and back to normal. It's like last year but a little bit better. We have real towels instead of paper towels... moving on up!
TVGuide.com: I just got the Season 1 DVD set here at work. What extras are on it?
Krakowski: I have been told that there is a really funny reel of outtakes. Those are usually reserved for just insiders, so I'm surprised they released that. And there are interviews with all of us from throughout the year.... We filmed a lot of things that were going to be on the Internet last year that didn’t necessarily make it onto the Internet, so some of those might be on there....
TVGuide.com: I recently talked to Tina Fey about the 30 Rock's amazing laughs-per-page ratio. Does a pro such as yourself still break when shooting a scene?
Krakowski: Oh, yeah, because the scenes are so funny and written so well. That’s part of what keeps the energy going on the set.
TVGuide.com: Ever have trouble getting a line out, because it's so absurdly funny?
Krakowski: Oh, that happened just the other day and now I'm trying to remember what it was.... During "Mystic Pizza," I had to sing sincerely about anchovies and how they can change my life, and it was like an out-of-body moment where I saw myself from the outside and I was like, "Oh my god, I am really doing this." So I did lose it singing about anchovies completely and sincerely. Oh, and with Dr. Spacemen — I go to him to lose the weight....
TVGuide.com: Because weight loss is one of his 18 specialties.
Krakowski: [Laughs] Exactly! But he has such genius lines. I go, "Thank you, Dr. Spacemen," and he goes, "Oh, don’t call me 'Dr.' That’s my father. I'm Leo." He suggests I go on crystal meth because it's a very effective weight-loss program.
TVGuide.com: Any other guest stars to tease for the coming season?
Krakowski: Will Arnett is back....
TVGuide.com: With his "beard."
Krakowski: With a beard, that is absolutely correct. How do you know all this?!
TVGuide.com: It's TV Guide, baby.
Krakowski: Geez! And I know Elaine Stritch is going to be back.... We've got amazing people coming on.
TVGuide.com: But no Prince Gerhardt.
Krakowski: [Sadly] Nooo, he died. We shot it two ways, one where he slipped into a coma, but I think they chose the one where he was dead, so I don’t think he can come back. That was a fun episode to do. Paul [Reubens] could come back as someone else, he was so heavily disguised. Tina nicknamed that episode "Goodbye, America" because she really didn’t think we would make it past that one.
TVGuide.com: Have you had a chance to see Broadway's Xanadu yet?
Krakowski: I haven’t gone yet, because I was away most of the summer. But I've got to go. I hear it's great.
TVGuide.com: How hard was it for you to not star in the production, having created the role in workshop?
Krakowski: It's difficult. It's hard because you put a lot into it and a lot of your ideas get into the final production.... I'm glad people like it, but it is hard. I really love to do live theater, so it's hard not to do it. But Tina is letting me roller-dance on the show, so.... [Laughs]
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