Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood's biggest comedians, but in a new interview she revealed she still has to deal with being a woman in a male-dominated field and her insecurities in the business world. The working mom of two sons hopes to make strides for women in the field, but admits to feeling uncomfortable at times.
"I have these meetings with really powerful men, and they ask me, 'Where are your kids? Are your kids here?' It's such a weird question," she told Fast Company magazine. "Never in a million years do I ask guys where their kids are. It would be comparable to me going to a guy, 'Do you feel like you see your kids enough?'"
While clearly holding her own in the industry, the 43-year-old said that she often acts like a man when conducting business. "I often look to men to model behavior," she added. "Not because I want to squelch what's feminine about me, but because sometimes I want a little more action, a little less feeling in my interactions."
Clearly, what the Parks and Recreation star is doing is working. She's not only starred in TV shows and written a best-selling memoir, but is also the head of Paper Kite Productions, working to develop new shows and talent. "I love the big thinking that comes along with it, the macro of it all," she said of producing and helping other people find their voice. "It feels like it’s been a really nice, natural, long progression for me to go from being the person who’s been the jester in the room to being secure enough to be a creator for people other than myself."
The blonde beauty credits her success to her improvisation background and learning to say, "yes" to everything. "There’s a thing in improv called the 'Yes, and’ rule," added Amy's Parks co-star Aubrey Plaza. "It means that if you’re in a scene with someone and they set up a premise, you have to say ‘yes’ and go along with it. Amy has let the ‘Yes, and’ rule bleed into her daily life. She never shuts you down. She always listens and wants to hear what you have to say. But at the same time, she knows what she wants. And you always feel very safe having her in charge, because there’s just this underlying sense that she can steer you in the right direction."
Despite her overwhelming success, Amy said it was her failures that have helped shaped her as a comedian and businesswoman. "I’ve failed a million times on stage, just not getting laughs," said Amy. "I’ve listened to notes that I knew weren’t right. I’ve pitched ideas and let other people change them, knowing that it was the wrong choice. The question you have to ask yourself is: How do you want to fail? Do you want to fail in a way that feels like it respects your tastes and value system?"