Speaks To Tracey!

April 07, 2009

Tracey Ullman targets celebs in 'State of the Union'

11:53 AM EDT, April 7, 2009

'Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" launches its second season (Sunday at 10 p.m.) on Showtime. Each episode focuses on one day in America, with Ullman and a small cast demonstrating there is no such thing as a sacred cow. The comedian, British-born (but now an American citizen), recently spoke to Jacqueline Cutler of Zap2it.

Your Laura Bush is so on target, yet she does seem quite opposite to you. Why her?

She is an interesting person to do, the stillness and type-B personality. I felt very calm, felt very serene playing her. I think she is a beautiful woman.

Do you write your own material?

Yes, with Bruce Wagner, a terrific writer, and it's just the two of us.

There's a lot packed into each half hour. How many episodes and how did you work?

Seven episodes, and we were very aware, when we wrote the shows last year, we were trying to predict the outcome of the election. We had to try and imagine what was going on this year. I knew Laura Bush would be back in Texas.

How do you pick characters?

I just make a list of what appeals to me, and what is not too obvious and what hasn't been done. I had no interest in doing Sarah Palin, having seen Tina Fey nail her so beautifully. I have this genius makeup team who will transform my face and angles of it. I have masses of wigs. I never quite know what one piece will make the character doable or right. With Renée Zellweger, I'm wearing lips like I am Shari Lewis' Lamb Chop. In the tiny car, I look like a cross between my mother and Rick Moranis.

Do you know the people you parody?

I know Arianna Huffington pretty well. She loves the impersonation. I have seen Renee Zellweger around. I never used to impersonate famous people. I thought if I do America dawn to dusk, I thought I would have to do a few celebrities. I love that kind of stuff. I want to play a whole new part.


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