From Kimmy Schmidt to Mother of One
Ellie Kemper sat down with her husband, Michael Koman, in an exclusive interview at Barnes and Noble located in Union Square on October 8, 2018 to discuss her first book, “My Squirrel Days.”
Comedian, Ellie Kemper grew up in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles. If you’ve ever binge-watched “The Office” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” or seen movies like “Bridesmaids” and “21 Jump Street,” then you may know who Ellie Kemper is.
Unlike other memoirs, “My Squirrel Days” is a collection of essays that tell the tale of Kemper’s journey through adulthood without revealing too much of her private life. One of the events of her adulthood includes when Kemper married Michael Koman, a known screenwriter, in 2012. The interview started off right away by talking about the stigmas surrounding actors and actresses writing books.
“I was so concerned with the notion of people wanting gossip. I was sort of preoccupied with that question because I thought ‘How much of that is exploiting your experience? How much of that is just providing insight?’” Kemper said.
Each chapter of “My Squirrel Days” has a title that is a part of her life. Titles include “Hero”, “Gossip”, “Squirrel”, “Redhead”, “Boss”, “Jock”, and many more.
Some of the stories consist of her inadvertently insulting Ricky Gervais at the Emmy awards, telling Tina Fey she has great hair and offering a Maxi Pad to Steve Carell. Her journey also covers her time as a collegiate benchwarmer for a field hockey team, writing for unpaid commercials for Mcdonald’s, and being an impatient bride and an anxious mother.
Kemper wishes for this book to be an escape for people when they need it.
“I primarily wanted to write stories about what had happened to me, and events in my life and stories that are relatable,” Kemper said. “I also think that there are some experiences that I had that not a lot of people have had where I could shed some light.”
Kemper was first asked, “Who do you think would a better roommate: Titus Andromedon or Michael Scott?” If anyone has seen her tv shows, then they can expect the laughter this question caused.
“Oh, that’s so hard. I think I would choose Michael Scott because he makes food like me. Titus is always making like gross food. He’s always eating some kind of mackerel,” replied Kemper.
Another fan asked, “What is your favorite episode of ‘The Office?’” Kemper replied that her favorite to watch is “Niagara,” which is the episode when Jim and Pam get married. Kemper recalls the episode being “so sweet.”
An audience member commented that Kemper is “an amazing actress and a beacon of hope and joy in the world that is so dark.”
These personal essays are special, but not too intimate for Kemper, even if the stories sometimes seem a bit dramatic. These are stories that she hopes everyone can find some way to relate to, take some knowledge, and gain happiness from.
Even though Kemper says parts of writing her book were frustrating, she enjoyed it because she had a certain control over what she says compared to when she is acting, which she loved.
“I hope you are able to see parts of yourself in them,” Kemper finished. “I hope you feel entertained and calm, and hopefully refreshed. I hope it is something pleasant to read.”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” returns to streaming in January for its fourth and final season. Ellie Kemper has starred as the main character, Kimmy Schmidt, for all four seasons and the show was nominated for 18 Primetime Emmy Awards since Netflix launched it in 2015.
“My Squirrel Days” can be found on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Audible, Target, Walmart, Ebay and ThriftSaver. “My Squirrel Days” is currently rated four stars on Amazon.com.