Interview with a Superstar

By Garreth Reeder

The Gauntlet had a chance to catch up with Molly Shannon in New York, before the release of her film, Superstar.

     Q: What are you wearing?
     MS: Prada pants… (laughing) I’m a whore for free clothes.

     Q: Where were you when the character (Mary Katherine Gallagher) was created?
     MS: I was at NYU drama school, and I was doing a show called the Follies. I had never done comedy before even though I had always been into acting. Adam Sandler was in the show, and we did an improv exercise called "Through the door," where you walk through the door and make up a character. I went "Hi, I’m Mary Katherine Gallagher" and just kept shaking hands. That’s where it started.

     Q: How was doing the robot?
     MS: That was really fun. Bruce McCulloch, the director, is really into the robot. The director can do sort of a rewrite on the script and he would keep adding these scenes with the robot dance. I was like, "What’s with this obsession with the robot dance?" He’s just really into the robot. I usually think it’s kind of corny, but it ended up being great.

     Q: Did you want to be a superstar back in High School?
     MS: Did I want to be a superstar? Yeah I did! But I was far from that.

     Q: Out of all the leading men of Saturday Night Live you’ve worked with, who is the funniest, the most natural?
     MS: Probably Will (Ferrell). He’s a really good actor, who commits really hard, and it’s so funny. I love Adam Sandler too, and I love Chris Rock, he’s amazing, but they are all so different. Adam Sandler is, like, my hero, I mean my God. What he has done with his movies, I think he’s amazing. I love Norm McDonald of course, they are all so different. so I like them all in different. ways.

     Q: Do you have plans for getting married?
     MS: I really would like to do that. I was really into my career before and I didn’t want men to get in the way or anything, I was really determined. You get to the point where you want both…but I was so driven. When was 26, 27, 28 I just wasn’t into it. I just turned 35 and I don’t want to be a lonely actress. So yeah, I would like to get married.

     Q: What was the most embarrassing thing you did during the making of the movie?
     MS: When I was doing Superstar I was really tired. We were working 16 hour days and I’d have my uniform on all day. One night I was really tired and went to Starbucks without taking my costume off. I went to get a coffee and there was a giant line of people staring at me. Of course they recognized me from Saturday Night Live. I thought "Oh no, do they think I wear this out?"

     Q: Who did you idolize growing up?
     MS: My dad was really into Judy Garland, so I got into her. I like performers and singers. I love Courtney Love right now, she’s great. Those women that do it all, who go up on stage and are in movies.

     Q: What do you think of Lilith Fair?
     MS: I’m more into the wilder girls.

     Q: Was physical comedy always big with you, or did you develop that with the character?
     MS: I was not that into the falling, which came with the sketch. I don’t like the physical stuff that much. It can be hard on your body, you get bruises. I used to be a clumsy person myself, I ate a lot of Captain Crunch and drank a lot of Coke, and so I was a very spastic kid.

     Q: What, besides the robot dance, did Bruce McCulloch bring to the movie?
     MS: He’s just great. first of all, when you get your first big comedy movie you usually get someone who’s okay, but Bruce is great. He writes all his own material; he’s like a writer-director. Bruce is a great actor so he knows how to direct actors, and he also has a great sense of style. I feel so lucky that we got him.

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