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Tina Fey confesses her '30 Rock' regret

Comedy's creator and star said she miscast Rachel Dratch in the pilot

By Mekeisha Madden Toby Jan 23, 2013 1:30PM

'Tina Fey' '/' NBC

Jane Krakowski was born to play Jenna Maroney, the self-obsessed TV diva on "30 Rock."

 

But in the comedy's original pilot, Rachel Dratch -- of "Saturday Night Live" fame --  played the part. Looking back, Tina Fey, the star and creator behind the Emmy-winning sitcom, said she regrets casting her close friend and former "SNL" co-star in the role, only to replace her with Krakowski. The seventh and final season of "30 Rock" comes to an end Jan. 31.

 

Bing: More on '30 Rock'  | Tina Fey  | Rachel Dratch  | Jane Krakowski

 

"If I had said 'I quit,' then they would have been like, 'OK, bye,'" Fey told Rolling Stone. "It was a failed experiment because I took Dratch, who is inherently sweet, and said, 'Let's write her the opposite and have that cartoon-eyed person playing a diva and throwing fits,' and it was one layer too many for what the show needed."

 

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Krakowski, who earned several Emmy nominations for her turn as Jenna, said the change affected everyone involved.

 

"There was so much publicity about it which wasn't easy for me, and really wasn't easy for Rachel," she said.

 

But Dratch, who returned as a guest star in various roles, thinks the media attention the switch received when "30 Rock" launched in 2006 was much ado about nothing.

 

"When I was let go, I didn't think it was a big deal," Dratch told the New York Post . "The direction of the character had changed and pilots are recast all the time. I thought it would be a nonstory, but suddenly it blew up."

 

"30 Rock" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

2Comments
Jan 23, 2013 7:32PM
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I have new respect for Rachel Drach. She is funny AND classy.

The other woman was a better fit, but Drach took it in stride.

She should get a shot at more roles, especially films.

Jan 23, 2013 6:15PM
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Actors are always used to getting certain parts, and then for whatever reason realizing the part would be better played by another actor.  Rachel Dratch did a good job in the "30 Rock" pilot as Jenna Mahoney, but Jane Krakowski brought the needed fire and ooomph to the role when it was recast.  Tina Fey's correct about the Dratch's sweetness as an actress, and also correct in Krakowski's total immersion in the role.  The show went on, and is better for those changes.  And who won't miss "30 Rock" now that it's ending?  For those who've not caught on to it, yet?  There's always the DVDs for catching up on one of the smartest, funniest shows on network TV.
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