ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

A por­trait of an artist as a mad­man, The Devil and Daniel John­ston is a weird, inspiring and heart­break­ing look into the life of the tal­ented yet tor­mented singer-song­writer Daniel John­ston. Manic-de­pres­sive and mis­un­der­stood, he stum­bles the fine line be­tween striv­ing for fame—with sup­port from Kurt Cobain, who called him “the great­est song­writer on earth”—and fall­ing off the deep end.

when Tina Fey was cre­at­ing her new com­edy, Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt, she did it with one actress in mind: El­lie Kem­per. The Net­flix show stars Kem­per, of The Of­fice and Brides­maids fame, as a re­lent­lessly op­ti­mistic woman who es­capes a sub­ter­ranean dooms­day cult—and then has to fig­ure out how to sur­vive in New York City af­ter living un­der­ground for years. (Kimmy’s first mis­take? Go­ing to work as a nanny for a Man­hat­tan tro­phy wife played by 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski.) Fey’s faith in Kem­per has al­ready paid off: The se­ries was re­newed for a sec­ond sea­son well be­fore its pre­miere this month. Over the phone, the 34-year-old Mis­souri na­tive talks about life in the spot­light, work­ing with Fey and what it’s like be­ing the most adorable woman in Hol­ly­wood.

In nearly ev­ery pro­file or in­ter­view writ­ten about you, the word “adorable” comes up. How do you feel about

that par­tic­u­lar la­bel? “I think it’s a lit­tle odd to re­fer to a 34-year-old woman as adorable, be­cause I feel like that’s a term used for ba­bies, pup­pies and, in gen­eral, peo­ple

who are younger. It’s not a rude term, but....” It’s a bit pa­tron­iz­ing? “I think that you don’t nec­es­sar­ily re­fer to pow­er­ful peo­ple as adorable, right? So I’ll say that.” I love how ev­ery episode has a nugget of wis­dom. Of­ten th­ese ar­rive in lit­tle say­ings of­fered by Kimmy, like “You can do any­thing for 10 sec­onds.” Do you live by

any words or say­ings? “I’m re­ally into SoulCy­cle. When you’re in an in­tense in­ter­val, they’ll say ‘You’re still up, you’re still up.’ I ac­tu­ally re­peat that to my­self when I’m hav­ing a hard day. I’m lit­er­ally blush­ing as I tell you this, but I think that ‘tak­ing it 10 sec­onds at a time’ is deeply pro­found. You just have to wait for some­thing to pass, and it al­ways does.”

You’ve talked a lot about how great it is to work with Tina Fey. So what we re­ally want to know is...what’s

the worst part about work­ing with her? “The worst part is prob­a­bly the best part. When­ever I’m feel­ing tired, I’ll see her on-set and I’ll be like ‘Oh, this woman has a much heav­ier work­load than any of us and she’s al­ways smil­ing.’ It’s very inspiring.” Is there any in­tim­i­da­tion fac­tor there? “Yeah, she’s this cul­tural icon. I was so ner­vous around her at first. Luck­ily, she is so grounded and per­son­able that you stop be­ing ner­vous. Also, we spent so much time to­gether that I just feel like your sys­tem would blow a cir­cuit if you were that tense the whole time. Your body would even­tu­ally give in.” How has it been to head­line your own show? Are you

feel­ing any pres­sure? “I am, although I hope to keep it all in per­spec­tive. I’m not work­ing in a coal mine or fly­ing bomber planes; I’m work­ing on a tele­vi­sion show. Def­i­nitely there is more pres­sure—but on a scale of tough jobs, this is not a hard one.” SARAH LAING

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