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Tina Fey Explained How Her Terrible SNL Hair Came to Be

Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

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Tina Fey has an explanation for her hair's early-aughts rough patch. We all do, but Fey specifically addressed her first magazine cover for Entertainment Weekly, which she landed a couple years after she and Jimmy Fallon assumed their roles as Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" co-anchors. Speaking to Damien Holbrook of TV Guide at Tribeca Film Festival, Fey clarified that on the morning it was taken, she had long hair, but "sometimes when you have an actor who's new, they're like a new toy to you, and some people are like, let's fix it."


Preparing for the photo at 5pm, her producers sat her down for a haircut in the morning. "A fancy person was brought in from a salon and this woman gave me a shag haircut," she said. "It was a full-tilt Joan Jett shag. It was very Klute. You know what you need for that haircut? Jane Fonda's face."

Seeing what they'd done, the producers brought in another professional. He abruptly cut it all off, ultimately landing on the style you see there on the right. "I think if I had been [older] or smart or whatever, I would have just cried, but I was too dumb," she said.

Fey also experimented with bangs during her SNL tenure — short ones. "Again, you can't have shorty bangs and Greek eyebrows. It looks like you shrunk your wig in the dryer."

Perhaps the biggest revelation from the night, though, was that the Mean Girls script was once much filthier. Fey had pitched Lorne Michaels on a movie where she'd played Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, who led workshops in schools with young women and sometimes boys "trying to help them with what they referred to as 'relational aggression,' which is just people being horrible to each other. So Twitter. It's real-life Twitter. Analogue Twitter."

But as she redrafted the script, she edited her part down and focused on the girls. "There were about twelve different drafts of that script," she said. "It started as an ‘R' and it would have definitely been an ‘R,' but it moved slowly to be cleaner and better."

It's an editing process that the Mean Girls musical is going through right now. Fey promises, "We are working on the musical adaptation, and thanks to Ellie Kemper's pregnancy, we have this whole summer to focus on it."