Blonde Ambition

On Boston I was in L.A. during the World Series, and I can't tell you how sad I was not to be in Boston. I got so choked up. God, what a great thing to watch. I went berserk. I should have been there. I have huge regrets.

I went to Emerson back in the '80s. I come back now and there are all these hot nightclubs and amazing restaurants and incredible shopping. I really want to live my life over again. Boston's full of really good-looking people, and I'm just blown away. When I was there it was slim pickings. [T.G.I.] Friday's was new then. God, I sound like an old hag.

On Getting Started I'd done these two failed TV series and then my mother got pancreatic cancer. She was living in Norwell with my father and was given the “You've got one month to live” thing. So when the TV series [She TV] failed, I went back and hung out with my mother until she died.

After that, I got a call to audition for Saturday Night Live and take a meeting with Lorne Michaels. I took the meeting, and he didn't seem that impressed. Later, I auditioned. I gotta say it was probably one of the best auditions I've ever had. One of those auditions that seemed to go so well. But for some reason, Lorne didn't want me.

I'm very confused on how it all happened, but [actress] Catherine O'Hara told me she had recommended me to [director] Christopher [Guest]. I had a meeting with him, and I don't think I impressed him very much. But then I got that phone call [for the part in Best in Show], and it changed my life.

I've always been very happy about how American Pie turned out. I think my paycheck was $1,500. It was this little movie that no one had any idea was going to have that sort of impact. But I run into kids, and they say, “That's the movie of my generation.”

On Acting When you're an actress, you don't really know who you are. I haven't played anyone even close to who I am. I knew how to play the girl in Legally Blonde because I went through some really hideous teenage years where I'd gained some weight and was really self-destructive and hopeless. Someone said to me today, “You need to play yourself in a film.” I wouldn't even know who that is. I'd love to say I'm a really horny woman preying on 18-year-olds. But my boyfriend's, like, 34.

This friend of mine had gone to see Legally Blonde and said, “I'm so glad you did that movie; it's so different than what you usually play. In Best in Show you kind of played yourself.” And I thought, “Played myself?! God, I can't believe you. [That character] was a vacuous, lost, sad gold digger.”

The best thing for an actor or actress is to be liked by kids. That's the best part of the job. I had a girl come up to me on a plane, shaking, and she was like, “I was just wondering if I could have a hug?” It was really nice. It's the kids that come up and say really honest stuff that you don't expect. They come up and go, “Your face looked all mushy,” or, “You were fat in that film!” They're just purely excited. It's the best.

On L.A. I'm obsessed with movies. I go to five or six a week. When I was growing up in Norwell, I felt like I was an outcast, like my obsession with movies and wanting to be an actress wasn't that common. L.A. is [full of] all these people that came from small towns and thought the way I did. We're all insane out here.

On Looks I've never been a really skinny girl, but my legs have stayed thin whether I go up or down. They help me pretend. I'll look down at my calves and say, “See? That part is thin!”

It's not fun to age in Hollywood. You want to work as long as you can. When you're a comedian, you can be a woman who ages and still have jobs. Who knows? I'll probably be one of those big hypocrites, one of those weird ladies you see at a party and go, “Ewww, ugh! What did she do to herself?!”

I don't care if you're Gloria Steinem, if a guy comes up to you and says, “I think you're hot,” that always makes you feel better. That's just a female thing.

On Life My mother dying was probably the most profound thing that's ever happened in my life. Something happens when you lose a parent. It made me very strong.

When you don't have expectations, you open doors for great things to happen. Once I was able to let things go, my life began. The world has its own ideas of what you're supposed to do. I was a control freak. I thought I was driving the train, and I wasn't.

I had such absurd expectations growing up. We went around class one time and they asked everyone in the room what they really wanted to be. I wanted to be the queen of Monaco.