Behind the Scenes: Vanity Fair Profiles Up-and-Coming Star Jenny Slate

Actress, who stars in the new movie Landline, opens up about stardom and her personal life.

July 23, 2017 5:00 am

In Landline, a newly released movie featuring Jenny Slate, Finn Wittrock, and Jay Duplass, her character finds herself attracted to a man while in a relationship with another man, while also discovering her dad is probably cheating on her mom.

While filming, Slate’s own life was in upheaval, as she was going through a divorce with then-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp.

Now, more than a year later, Slate is working hard to be in a good place. In a recent profile in Vanity FairSlate says that she loves her life and feels “more in touch with (her) ability to experience pleasure than (she) ever has.”

Many would consider Slate famous. She was on Saturday Night Live for one season, was a recurring character on Parks and Recreation and Girls—among other showsand been in hit indie films like Marcel the Shell and Obvious ChildShe however, does not consider herself famous quite yet, she tells Vanity Fair. 

She does know that she has an intense following and describes her fanbase as having a niche-like quality. Slate doesn’t mind that, and says that it helps her feel safe—and not get paparazzi’d at the airport.

Slate found that despite going through such hardship in her personal life, she could really lean on her Landline co-stars during filming. She says her character, Dana, has an underlying current of joy despite personal turmoil, which is something Slate says she personally didn’t have during her divorce. The actress found that her one reprieve during this time was performing.

During filming, Slate would receive copies of the script and would always give one major feedback: take the focus off the men, as much as possible. Slate did not want her character to be seen as good or bad or condemned based on who she ended up with at the end of the film. Slate wanted the character to be “shown as someone who realizes she needs to be able to make choices. She needs to figure out how to do that the healthy way,” Slate told Vanity Fair. 

In her personal life, Slate gets annoyed that her personal dating life is reported on. She believes it is connected to a deeply patriarchal system, where if you are a woman in the spotlight, the system owns your private life, and is allowed to have an opinion on your decisions, who you sleep with, who you date, who you are friends with. Slate says she “gets really pissed about it.”

It’s not surprising that Slate names a group of women as her career role models: Meryl Streep, Virginia Woolf, Marisa Tomei, among others.

As for the future? She is working on a Marcel the Shell movie with ex-husband Fleischer-Camp and told Vanity Fair hopes to write a book of modern feminist essays at some point. She also that she would like to write a film vehicle for herself.

“I want to make something that is a big studio comedy where I’m a woman, just a woman doing very particular things, an actual character. That’s what I want.”

Watch the trailer for Landline below.

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