Maya Rudolph on having fun on “Up All Night” and the possibility of “Bridesmaids 2”

As I mentioned in the Huddle a few weeks ago, NBC’s Up All Night surprised me by becoming my new favorite comedy this year. A sitcom about new parents (Christina Applegate and Will Arnet) didn’t sound like my kind of funny, despite my love of both actors, until I watched it and fell instantly in love with the character of Ava, played by Maya Rudolph. Ava is a former pop star-turned-talk show host, with legions of fans who love to hear her say “Keep growing and learning.” If Ava weren’t so self-obsessed, she’d be Oprah, but the narcissism is part of what makes her so hilarious; the other part is she’s played so brilliantly by Maya, a multi-faceted performer who can play a person like that and make you love her instead of hate her.

I chatted with Maya at NBC’s TCA party on Friday night, where she told me about having so much fun on set and the possibility of a Bridesmaids sequel. Did you know you have a large lesbian fanbase?
Maya Rudolph:
I’m so happy you told me. I never know about any fanbase to be perfectly honest. When I was at SNL I knew I had a small but growing gay fan base, just because I personally feel like a lot of my characters are drag queens, so that makes me really happy.

AE: Part of what I love about Ava is the music videos of her past. Please tell me you’ll be doing more of those.
My friend Emily [Spivey] that created the show is an old — she’s not old, we’re the same age! She’s a longtime friend of mine we started at The Groundlings together , she created almost everything we did together on SNL: Donatella, Whitney, she came up with everything. We’ve written together for years. She knows what I have fun doing, so she knows how to write to my strengths. So I get really lucky that I get to do a lot of stuff like that.


AE: You have great chemistry with both Christina and Will. I love how Ava always thinks Chris (Will) is flirting with her.
[Will’s wife] Amy [Poehler] is my family, so Will was automatically my family. It’s so much fun. I’m mad at him right now because he’s beating me at Words with Friends. He’s ruthless.

AE: What can you tell us about the possibility of a Bridesmaids sequel? I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors.
Everyone’s been saying it. I feel like a big downer because I have nothing to tell people. To be honest, it’s not up to me. We would all love to do it, it’s just when they say “yes,” I’m sure we’ll all be there, but I’m not in charge. It makes you feel really good that people have people rooting for it the whole time. I’ve never experienced something like that. There’s nothing better.

Do you watch Up All Night? And would you want to see a Bridesmaids 2?

Up All Night airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC