There has always been something sisterly about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Underneath the two friends’ showbiz collaborations, which have hopped from an indelible partnership on Saturday Night Live to movies like Mean Girls and Baby Mama to hosting the Golden Globes, is an unshakable bond.
Perhaps it’s because few have walked in their shoes. “There’s been many times where I feel like Tina was the only other person I could talk to about being the star and producer and writer of your own television show on NBC,” says Poehler, who stars with Fey in the new R-rated comedy Sisters, in theaters Friday.
“With toddlers,” Fey, seated next to her, reminds.
“With two toddlers,” nods Poehler, 44. “It just felt like a meeting of two, a lot of the times. It’s really nice to have that. And there’s a lot of ‘Do you think … ?’ If you eavesdrop on our conversations, there’s really weird language because we’re often quickly gossiping because we haven’t seen each other in awhile.”
Sisters, based on SNL writer Paula Pell’s coming-of-age diaries, bills Fey as Kate, the hard-partying sometimes hairstylist to Poehler’s Maura, a buttoned-up nurse. Upon hearing the news that their parents are selling their childhood home, both go postal and vow to throw a last-gasp rager at their old address. (Cue fortysomething debauchery fueled by a delivery of obscenely named drugs from John Cena.)
Yes, Sisters has the valiant task of going up against Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the box office this weekend. Fey and Poehler have made a viral parody, The Farce Awakens, in answer to it (basically equating Star Wars hype with what they’ve accomplished with Sisters).
So who were they in high school? Poehler reminds that she was third-runner-up for ‘Most Casual.’ “We felt like we were both Maura, pretty much,” Poehler says.
“Neither of us was living on the edge,” says Fey, 45.
Poehler recalls a precious few parties thrown at her childhood house in Burlington, Mass., where her parents still live. “I threw a couple of parties at my house. My parents found beers in our washing machine. Somebody ripped down a towel bar from my bathroom and threw a basketball at someone and they ducked and it put a dent in our cheap plywood basement doors. Those two things I remember just being like, ‘I’m done! I’m dead!’ “
But neither kept (or keep) the kind of tell-all journals regaled in Sisters.
“I don’t like journaling. Because I’m writing so often for a living, to do more writing would make me furious,” says Fey, who is knee-deep in Season 2 of Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Poehler has kept a rigorous schedule after Parks and Recreation, producing shows such as Broad City and Difficult People. But headlining a show? “I miss everybody so much, but I do not miss the grind,” she says.
Ok, so how do two comic touchstones organize their memories: Scrapbooks? Shared iCloud albums?
“I do (stuff) like this,” Fey tips up her iPhone; on the back is a sweet shot of her daughters, Alice and Penelope.
“I did this thing for my son’s seventh birthday where I started making him a birthday book,” says Poehler, who is mom to sons Archie and Abel. “So I just basically very lazily printed out off of my iPhone 15 of my favorite pictures of us, and I glue-sticked them into a notebook and wrote things about him. He has it in his drawer.”
The two recently passed the Globes-hosting baton to Ricky Gervais. They don’t rule out a return one day, but “we’re happy,” Poehler says. “I’m bummed not to get to do it, because, it’s so fun but we don’t have to think of jokes over Christmas, that’s good.”
Even better: “We don’t have to watch our food intake over Christmas to fit dresses that were made before Christmas,” Fey says with a grin.