These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question and answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
You probably know Ana Gasteyer best from her wonderful six-season run on "Saturday Night Live," during which time her uproarious impressions of Martha Stewart and Celine Dion made her one of the show's most coveted performers. Since leaving "SNL" in 2002, Gasteyer has been here, there and everywhere, including gifting us with a reunion with former cast mates Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows in 2004's "Mean Girls." Now she has a starring role on the ABC comedy "Suburgatory" and is preparing to record her first music album, based on her nightclub act. But in the meantime, the 45-year-old mother of two took time to speak with HuffPost Celebrity about boycotting "American Idol," lying to Lorne Michaels and whether an "SNL" appearance might be in the works this season.
What do you think of how "Suburgatory" is going? Are you pleased with its reception and the viewership it's getting?
Of course I am. What’s not to love? Especially because there's a craft to trying to get a job while being on a job you’re not embarrassed to be on. The show is hilariously written, so it’s been a true pleasure to beef up my résumé through that. As far as viewership goes, I kind of keep myself in a bubble about that stuff. I do live two completely separate lives, and that’s enhanced by the fact that I live in New York and travel to Los Angeles to film the show. So I tend not to think about "Suburgatory" when I’m not on the "Suburgatory" set. That's the beauty of the five-day shooting schedule and half-hour episodes.
Tina Fey recently said she's considering a “Mean Girls” musical. Would you be interested?
I don’t think I’d be available because of "Subugatory," but it's definitely exciting. She’s been at that for a while. Her husband is a really wonderful composer.
Can we perhaps expect a "Saturday Night Live” appearance this season? You've done some Mother's Day episodes recently, so maybe then?
They don’t really tell you until like the day before. It’s the wonderful part of being part of that mafia, getting to go back and do it again. It’s really great -- I mean, that place that started it all for me. That’s another reason it’s been really cool to be part of "Mean Girls."
So I hear you're releasing an upcoming album. Tell me more about that.
I am working on it. I do a nightclub act called "Elegant Songs from a Handsome Woman." It's a small quintet, and we have a really good time with a bunch of American classics and a bunch of novelty songs. It's just an old-fashioned nightclub act. You enjoy a few cocktails, really get things rolling. So I said I've been performing long enough and toured around the country and now I want to put together a recording. It's something I’ve always loved to do. I sung on broadway, I sung in comedy, I sung on "Suburgatory" just last week. Now it’s just a matter of getting organized and making an album.
Is the nightclub act funny, too?
Oh yes, I’m funny first, and I’m more comfortable that way. My goal would not be to do a set of earnest ballads. My job is to make people laugh and have a toe-tapping good time.
When can we expect the album?
I'm recording this spring, and the album will come out next fall.
What do you think of Honey Boo Boo?
Have you read "Fifty Shades of Grey"?
No, I will never read that book. It’s not that I don’t like my dirty fiction, but it would piss me off that it’s not well written. And no one wants to be pissed off while they’re horny.
What’s the last song you downloaded?
I think it’s a song by Nat King Cole, “Save the Bones for Henry Jones.” I’m looking to record my own version.
What New Year's resolution can you never keep?
Swearing, always, of course, because that immediately goes out the door around 12:01. One that I’m keeping is unpacking the minute I get home. Because I travel so much, I’m realizing that after this one little trip, if I just unpack the second I get home, I don’t feel as crazy because I don’t have to wonder where my stuff is. It’s Jan. 29, and I’ve already done it four times. Then you don’t spend a minute where you are going, "Where’s my bra?”
Have you ever lied on a job application?
Yeah, I did when Lorne Michaels interviewed me, because I heard he doesn’t like to hire women over 30. And 29 sounded like a lie, so I tried 28. My husband asked me later why I didn’t at least buy a few years.
Do you ever snoop in your friends' medicine cabinets or drawers when you're over?
I do, I like to know what products I’m missing out on. But I never really find anything juicy. That’s what shoeboxes are for, I guess.
What movie could you watch over and over?
Oh, that's a tough one. I could watch “Tootsie” over and over again. And I’ve watched “Mary Poppins” approximately 800,000 times, and “Singin’ in the Rain.” Those never get old. But that’s mostly a function of having children -- you realize what you can and cannot watch over and over. Like the original “Cinderella” -- that you can watch over and over. You cannot watch “Aladdin” over and over without wanting to put a gun to your head, though. Some of these things are trial and error.
If you were on a reality show, what would it be called?
Would you be the organizer or the one needing organization?
Oh, I would be Jo on “Supernanny." I would walk in, arms akimbo, with a label maker in one, a visor on, and a duster in the other hand. I never used to be that way, but that’s all I do now. While I’m on the phone, I’m also organizing my junk drawer. I think it’s a result of living such a chaotic life, so this way it helps me to know where all my stuff is at all times. Like this morning –- lately we’ve been organizing this house a lot because we were out of power after Sandy -- and I found like 12 MetroCards. There were MetroCards all over the place. Did you know you can take all your old MetroCards to the teller and have them combined into one card? I consolidated 12 MetroCards! You know that 10-percent refund, which I love? But you know that, like, 35 cents that’s left over? It’s never enough for a single ride, and my husband had a bunch in closet, and I found them here and there. I took them all to the teller and consolidated them into one $70 card! Oh, and if they’ve expired -- and they do expire – then you can mail them in.
You have all the MTA secrets! Maybe that can be your reality show.
Yeah, "Inside the MTA." It would last one episode.
What shows are always on your DVR?
“Suburgatory.” I can tell you right now because I’m standing by it. When you have children, you lose your rights, though. ... Right now, I’m into “Justified” and “Downton Abbey” -- one of the few things I watch with my 11-year-old that isn’t, you know, “Dance Moms.” I’m cutting out “Dance Moms,” though; it’s too much yelling. “American Idol” is going off, too, because I’ve had it with the bullying. People love “The Voice” because it’s positive, and I love “The Voice,” and on that show we don’t have to weed through all the people we think are terrible. So I’m boycotting that one. I’m trying to think -- my husband loves “Doomsday Preppers.” I have about 3,000 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” for my son. But my daughter is old-fashioned when it comes to TV. She watches old “I Love Lucy,” which is great. For Christmas I gave her the box set of Carol Burnett. She can be really fun to watch TV with because she’s completely satisfied watching Lucy and Ethel in Palm Springs for the afternoon.
What's your go-to excuse?
Babysitter problems. Although it’s usually true. But I can smudge the margins a little bit.
If you could ask Kim Kardashian any question, what would it be?
"Why?" I just think no matter what she thinks it applies to, it would stump her.
What happens in your recurring dream?
Oh geez, it’s everything rolled into one horrific “Saturday Night Live”/Broadway mishap. It’s all together in one big dream. They’ve just written the script, I have to show up, I’m the understudy, the lead called in sick. It’s just a vast behind-the-scenes thing, with everything going wrong. Running late, not fitting in the costume -- one big prepared-for-shooting nightmare. I have it all the time. “Saturday Night Live” is like one big, scary, stress-related thing because it’s all moving so quickly and you don’t have a lot of time to process in the moment. You just have to do it, handle pressure well and have a nervous breakdown later. So I was calm, cool and collected as well as one can be on “Saturday Night Live.” But for years I’ve been running to the set in a panic in this dream.