'30 Rock': Meet the actress behind 'sexy baby' Abby Flynn

30-RockOn last week’s 30 Rock, Liz Lemon hired comedy writer Abby Flynn for a “femolution” (feminine + evolution, get it?), but what she got was a blond, ditzy, threesome-loving “sexy baby,” brilliantly played by Cristin Milioti, 25. We talked to the New York actress about perfecting that creepy voice and eating pretzels with Tina Fey.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you land the role?
CRISTIN MILIOTI: I auditioned and the next day I was on set. We shot maybe five or six days. It’s one of my favorite shows, and I don’t have a TV so I watch everything on Hulu.

What were you up to before?
I do a lot of theater in New York and did a film that opened the Toronto Film Festival last year, Year of the Carnivore. I did a small indie film that’s supposed to come out later this year, I Am Ben. I just did the Nurse Jackie finale — I play a crackhead – and The Good Wife early in the season.

I went to [NYU's] Tisch for a year then I dropped out. I did not like it. But an agent had seen me in a show and sent me on an audition for The Sopranos, [and] I booked it. It was really lucky right out of the gate. Then I booked my first Broadway show a month later – The Lieutenant of Inishmore. It was very, very lucky. I was at the right place at the right time. But I hated NYU.

What was the audition for 30 Rock like? Did you have to do the whole Abby shtick?
Yea, but they didn’t tell me Tina Fey was going to be in the callback, so I walked in and couldn’t speak. I cried afterward because I thought I had totally blown it. But she’s the nicest woman alive. She was like, “Hi, how are you? I’m Tina.” And I’m like “Uhh.” Then I read with the casting director and she said, “That was great. Have a great day.” And I said, “Uhh.”

How did it feel walking around set in that costume during breaks?
It was weird because at one point I was walking down the same set of steps as Blake Lively [who films Gossip Girl in the same studio lot as 30 Rock], and we bumped into each other. She was like – and I don’t blame her – “What the f—?” Every time I walked around, people just gaped. Walking around the set, I felt super awkward. I was much more comfortable when they put me in that fake nose and unibrow for the stand-up video. It’s hard to see, but I was in the makeup chair for two hours getting a prosthetic nose. That was much more comfortable than walking around in hot pants.

Did you use any famous people to model that baby voice after?
I watched a bunch of videos with Paris Hilton on David Letterman. That was what I did for the audition, and it changed from there. For the audition, I wore a plaid shirt and gray jeans. That was the sexiest thing I had, which is really sad. I wear jeans and long shirts in the summer so I wasn’t really comfortable [in Abby's costume].

What has the response been like after the appearance?
I heard from people I went to kindergarten with, got emails and Facebook messages – it was nuts. I’m auditioning five times a day because it’s pilot season, and every time I go in for something, someone will say, “You were really awesome on 30 Rock!”

Any word if you’ll come back?
They didn’t say, but it was a dream job. It’d be a ridiculous, wild, dream-come-true scenario.

How was sharing screen time with Alec Baldwin?
He’s really awesome. It was actually his idea to do the trampoline. I was just supposed to be jumping up and down on it myself, and then he said, “It’d be so funny if I got on there with you.”

And your scenes with Tina?
She’s incredible. She’s an insane martian genius when it comes to comedy. She’s an incredible woman to look up to. But after a while, it was, “Oh, that’s Tina Fey, and she’s cool.” We just hung out and ate pretzels. We sat in a warming tent and ate pretzels.

Missed Milioti’s guest stint? Just want to relive the “sexy baby” hilarity? Check out a clip from the episode:

Photo: Ali Goldstein/NBC

Read more:
’30 Rock’ recap: The TGS woman-haters club

Comments (23 total) Add your comment
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  • Mr. Holloway

    I said this before, but even though this show does a wonderful job of incorporating big-name guest stars into the mix, it was nice to see them pick someone pretty obscure and have that person deliver a great performance.

    In fact, since almost all the guest stars on “30 Rock” are pretty famous, I kept talking myself into thinking I’d seen the person playing Abby somewhere before.

  • Jeff

    She should be proud. That was one of the funniest 30 ROCK episodes of all time. I hope she gets a lot more work because of it.

  • whatevs

    Wow, she’s 25? I thought she was much older…

  • alex

    Good for her.. really nice to see just a regular working actress get a break and she seems really grateful for the experience.

  • Joe B.

    You didn’t ask her if she knew anything about the comparisons of her character to Sarah Silverman. Why?

  • Matt G

    I totally pegged her to be 30-years-old. I wish I went to NYU and dropped out, too.

    • alex

      i went to NYU… wish i had dropped out

  • Johnification

    Inishmore! THAT’S where I knew her name from! Gotta love 30 Rock cherry-picking the Broadway actors. Think it could become the new Law and Order for NY SAG members?

  • LaL

    OK, so it wasn’t the funniest episode this season. But I loved that the show addressed the G in the TGS origins. It’s pretty amazing how smart the show is when most shows dumb down with time.

    • hermione

      Mind sharing what the T stands for? I must’ve missed it.

    • hermione

      Whoops! Sorry, I meant the G.

      • BrittaBot

        TGS = The Girlie Show
        I believe the original logo is on the wall above the couch in Liz’s office.

      • Rand

        It stands for Girly. The show was originally called ‘The Girly Show’. When Jack came he added Tracy and changed the name to ‘TGS with Tracy Jordan’.

    • diego

      that six people were aaulctly cool with the discrimination the woman faced and some even gave the cashier thumbs up. Unfortunately, those are the ignorant ones that really are clueless about whats going on and like the one man said when approached by the reporter, Youre not American because youre defending that woman. If being born in this country doesnt make you American, then what does? What was most surprising to me was the fact that 22 people had nothing to say and basically acted as if nothing was happening. To me that means that theyre okay with it. I would like to see this experiment done in a larger scale in different places to see how truly Muslims are treated in this country. Its been almost TEN years since 9/11 and Muslims have gone a long way as far as correcting their image but they still have a lot more work to do because it seems to me like the majority of Americans still have issues believing that you could be Muslim and wear the hijab or what have you and be a U.S. citizen.

  • Linda

    That was one really funny episode! 30 Rock is one of my favorite shows. The writing is super great, and it’s a joy watching Tina Fey as Liz Lemon. Abby Flynn was a really funny character, it was a funny episode. I can’t stand people who talk with a baby-voice, it pisses me off so I was really backing Lemon the entire episode before the end, which was really good an unexpecting!

  • LP

    Cristin seems awesome. :) That anecdote made me like Blake Lively more too, it’s hilarious.

  • Jim

    That incident with Blake Lively made me think of Joy from “My Name is Earl” when she’s in a chain-gang being lead into court and the women behind her keeps kicking her feet: “Dammit Cristin! You give me one more flat tire and I’m gonna punch you in the boob!”

  • Molly

    I thought she was Alyssa Milano. oops.

    • Woot

      I thought that too for a second!

      • Rosa

        I’m going up to Bendigo for the exhibition soon for a Girls Weekend Can’t wait!Also, I’ve styead at the same hotel for a work trip a couple of months ago not a bad one at all! Was one of the nicer bathrooms I’ve come across in recent times

  • Jay

    I’m pretty sure femolution was short for female + revolution (not evolution – that wouldn’t make much sense).

  • Eric J. Beck

    She absolutely NAILED her performance. Hysterical, hit all the comic notes, but was fully fleshed out. Jeez, coul dyou imagine adding ANOTHER great talent to this show?!?

  • Faheem

    Yay, the mother!

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