Ah, Vanessa Minnillo. Can I please hate her and her perfect life? She's a former Miss Teen USA and MTV VJ, is engaged (to Nick Lachey, in case you've been under a rock for the last few months) and now she's guest starring on 30 Rock with my most-favorite-person-who-ever-walked-the-face-of-the-earth. That would be Tina Fey.
I had a chance to ask Vanessa some questions on a conference call with other members of the press. Turns out, even though I wanted to despise her because, well, she's beautiful, engaged and got to spend the day working on one of my favorite shows, I just couldn't. She's just so darned humble and sweet! And she worships Tina Fey, too. See what else she has to say about the cast of 30 Rock and the "bananas" character she's playing tonight.
Going into this, were you nervous or have you had any anxiety about working with ...
Vanessa Minnillo: I was nervous ...
... the 30 Rock cast?
Vanessa Minnillo: I can even cut you off at that, because you know this is a big deal for me. This is 30 Rock, NBC, it's you know Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-winning, and the cast alone is just -- this is as good as it gets. You know, this is A list -- these are A-list actors and comedians that I'm working with, so I was completely beside myself. I was so nervous that I was actually making myself sick just for the audition process.
What 30 Rock character would you say you are most like in real life?
Vanessa Minnillo: Oh, that's a good one. You know what, it's -- honestly, like when I get asked a question to what animal would you be, I literally, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, I'm a chameleon.
So, when I see Tina Fey's character and, you know, just Jack, him and Lemon, and she's just, you know, like she's eager and she's ready to go, but then she's like a fish out of water. I feel like that character, but then when I see Elizabeth Banks' character, Avery, I -- and how she's trying to keep it all together, but there' so much going on internally, I feel like her as well.
And then Carmen, the girl that I'm playing, Carmen Chao, is just everything that I think every professional woman, or just female, suppresses those thoughts, those looks, those glares. I don't -- I can't explain it, gets to come out. So, I had so much fun being this woman because she is just -- she's cutthroat. She's getting the job done and she's taking names, and she is not looking back.
What was the most memorable moment from the day of shooting your scenes?
Vanessa Minnillo: [Tina Fey] was talking to me and Elizabeth about these snacks. And she was so excited about these snacks, and again we go to do a take and she's very professional. And she's talking to people on set and she's very professional, on a business call very professional. But then she runs to her trailer, and she looked like the cutest little like 12-year-old girl, like legs going left and right, running, running, running in her big coat, and she grabs her little bag of treats and runs back with this grin on her face.
Like, it was the most awkward, cutest, most adorable running and smiling and giddy. And she got back and she was like, "Oh, I wanted to show you guys the treats." And I'm like, "You're just -- you're amazing. You know, you have it so together and you are so down to earth." It's -- I have that vision of her just running down the streets of New York smiling and holding this bag of candy.
Have you and Nick [Lachey] set a wedding date yet?
Vanessa Minnillo: No, it's just, you know, we're enjoying being engaged. Everyone rushes to the next step, and I like this step, you know? It's fun and I'm in love and we're happy, so when it comes and it happens organically, I will be welcoming it with open arms.
(Image courtesy of NBC)