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Tina Fey, making movies and raising 2 kids, craves sleep

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Updated: April 22, 2013 10:48AM

In Tina Fey’s world, there is something so elusive that it brings a little delicious laugh to her voice when she dreams about it.

The mother of 19-month-old Penelope and 7-year-old Alice sighs while dreaming out loud. “I just want to go away and sleep for a whole weekend,” she says.

You can’t blame her for a few well-deserved yawns. Fey just wrapped her NBC series “30 Rock” for good. She hasn’t paused for a moment, already developing new projects for NBC and returning to the big screen. Her first post-“Rock” effort is “Admission,” opening Friday.

Again, the topic is motherhood. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton University who is dedicated to her work and little else. She’s not that interested in raising a child.

But when she learns a teen applying to Princeton may be the son she gave up many years ago, she finds herself willing to bend a few rules and put her own career at risk for the teen to gain admission.

“It’s a movie about chasing acceptance, which is something most of us do in life,” Fey says. “I loved that the moral of the story is that outward acceptance shouldn’t be valued as much. Just be who you are.”

The movie explores the whole college admission process, and the specifics were ironic to Fey.

“I had applied to Prince­ton and was rejected. I was OK with it. I didn’t get mad when I was shooting on the Princeton campus,” she insists.

The college process reminded her of her years as head writer on “Saturday Night Live.”

“On the show, there are boxes and boxes of writing submissions,” she says. “You look for something to accept, if anything. And the pressure is on.”

Paul Rudd plays the boy’s teacher, and a potential love interest for Fey.

“She makes comedy so easy,” he says. “You want to get in those scenes and explore with her. She’s so funny and natural about it that it was exciting to get to work each day.”

After a career of pure comedy, Fey went into “Admission” with some angst. “At first, I thought that there were scenes that were more emotional than I could ever do,” she admits.

But she doesn’t feel she can’t afford to be picky. “There are a lot of movie stars in the world,” she says. “I’m always thrilled when I get offered anything.”

She’s being offered plenty. Next is a Muppets movie in London. “Hopefully, I’m shooting a movie called ‘Male Order Groom’ with Steve Carell this summer,” she says.

Fey recharges at home with her husband, former Second City director and composer Jeff Richmond, and their two daughters.

“I’m in favor of motherhood. It’s certainly probably the hardest job I could ever do,” says Fey.

As for her future on screen, Fey frets, “I’m 42. It’s over for me soon.”

Recalling her recent co-hosting of the Golden Globes, she frets, “Do you know it takes 400 people now to get me ready for an event? That’s about 398 people too many.”

She notices the lengths to which leading ladies go to never age on screen.

“As you age, you might want to pay someone to shoot lasers at your face. You can actually simulate the experience at home by having a friend hide your wallet while you sit close to a space heater,” she jokes. “It works just as well.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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