‘SNL’ Star Doesn’t Like How Partisan Sketches Alienate People

Kate McKinnon opens to GQ about portraying polarizing figures on the sketch comedy show.

Kate McKinnon said in a recent interview with GQ that she doesn’t like to alienate audience members with partisan sketches, but when she portrayed Hillary Clinton singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah during the ‘SNL’ cold open following the 2016 election, she says she desperately wanted to communicate how she was feeling.

“I knew the half of the country that was happy with what happened would not like it, and I don’t like to alienate anybody,” McKinnon said. “But I also just had such an earnest desire to show people how I was feeling—a visceral desire to communicate.”

And when she communicates, she doesn’t want to do it without empathy. McKinnon said that when she portrays another person, whether Democratic or Republican, it’s vital from her end that there to be empathy involved.

“You can’t be judging someone as you’re embodying them. You have to find the point of connection—something you find delightful,” McKinnon said. “Even if you’re intending to skewer someone, you also have to find something that you truly like about them. If you’re mean, it ain’t fun to watch. And if it ain’t fun to watch, they turn off the TV.”

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