Tina Fey’s Interest in Starring in ‘Admission’ Stemmed in Part from Her Failure to Get Into Princeton


tina-fey-admissionTina Fey had a few reasons for taking the starring role in Admission, the new comedy featuring her as an admissions officer for Princeton.  Though there were many, perhaps the main reason was it finally allowed her to finally be affiliated with one of the country’s most competitive universities. 

Fey points out that one aspect that interested her about the film was how stressful the college admissions process is.  She explains, “When I told friends, especially those with children, about the film, there would be an instantaneous reaction and I would get peppered with questions. There’s a sense of panic in every parent who is about to go through that process. I found the story compelling, and I wanted to take on the challenge of playing this character at the center of that process.”

She also enjoyed working with producer/director Peter Weitz, who had a strong idea of what her wanted from Fey and the other actors, but was also open to the actors’ interpretations.  She says, “Paul has really thought through both the story and the characters; when we are shooting, he will identify little things for you to focus on, which I found to be truly helpful. He is also open to hearing about what an actor thinks is going on within their character.”

However, perhaps what interested Fey the most about starring in the film is that it finally allows her to get into Princeton.  After all, as a teenager Fey tried and failed to get into the highly-regarded institution.  She reveals, “I did apply to Princeton, because it was a dream of my mother’s that one day I would try to go there. I was a good student, but I wasn’t ‘Princeton material,’ as Wallace Shawn’s character would say. I remember thinking at my Alumni Interview that they were not interested in me at all, that it was completely perfunctory.  So I did not get into Princeton, but I went to a great school – the University of Virginia.”

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