The former Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids star, 45, reprises her voice role as Precious the pug in the animated Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, in theaters Aug. 11. The Florida-born actress has four children with her partner, film director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood).
Was having kids an incentive for doing Nut Job 2?
When we did the first Nut Job, I only had three, so I guess there’s more incentive now. The kids like getting a chance to see the stuff I do. They get excited about it, which is nice.
What’s new with Precious?
In the first movie, when you meet her, she comes across as tough until she immediately rolls over on her back. In the sequel, she takes a more romantic turn.
You work a lot with others from the cast of Bridesmaids, like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.
A bunch of us were in the Groundlings [improv group] together; that’s where most of us cross-pollinated. It’s easier to write for and work with people whose voice you already know and who speak the same language.
Why did you leave Saturday Night Live in 2007?
I don’t think anyone is meant to work there for the rest of their lives. By the time I had a daughter, it was just the right time for me to leave. It’s hard to work on a late-night comedy show and have a baby. I did it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I wouldn’t really recommend it.