Though Ms. Fey knew Ms. Pell’s sister through the tightknit world of “S.N.L.,” her portrayal is not an impression. “It’s not a biopic,” Ms. Fey said. “But if I say it is, can I have an Oscar? Did you notice that I had a fake nose the whole movie? It was smaller than my real nose — very uncomfortable to wear. A nose corset.”
Ms. Fey and Ms. Poehler were hands-on producers, overseeing script changes, budgets and casting, in their fashion. “Tina texted me,” Maya Rudolph recalled, “and said: ‘Would you please come be in our movie? You get to be a real jerk named Brinda-with-an-I.’ And I was like, I’m there.”
Her character is a catty school rival to Ms. Fey’s Kate. “The bigger jerk she was, the more we laughed,” Ms. Rudolph said.
In real life, the teenage Ms. Poehler and Ms. Fey were hardly the kind to court enemies. “We were both like Maura — good students, good kids,” Ms. Poehler said.