AP NEWS

Coolidge sends giant smiley face to ‘Emoji’

July 26, 2017

For Boston native Jennifer Coolidge, making people laugh has long been her business.

The peerless comedienne is known for playing Stifler’s mom in the raunchy “American Pie” series, as a regular in Christopher Guest’s improvised comedies (“Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind”) and for six seasons as Sophie Kachinsky, the Polish neighbor on “Two Broke Girls.”

In “The Emoji Movie,” her sweet Mary Meh is heard alongside Anna Faris, James Corden, Maya Rudolph and T.J. Miller.

“I’ve done quite a few voice-over gigs at this point and it’s very creative,” Coolidge said.

“It’s very collaborative — and for an actor that’s just the ultimate form of flattery.

“Like they’ll say, ‘This is what the character looks like and let’s see what you have.’ So you really feel like you’re very involved and you’re creating part of it.

“Because sometimes you walk in (for a role) and they have such a specific vision of their own where you don’t feel it matters what you’re thinking and you feel like you have to hold back with your own ideas.”

Coolidge, 55, flashed back to her first voice job: Aunt Fanny in 2005’s “Robots.”

“I remember when I was doing ‘Robots’ I thought, ‘I should be part of this world.’ Just because of the people I met. They’re a very genuine tribe of people that do this.”

“Emoji Movie” has something to say to kids. “It’s very strong about being all you can be and that being conventional and normal shouldn’t be the dream.

“The ultimate message is it’s not how popular you are, the winner is the person who is truest to themselves. I think that’s a brilliant message for kids.

“I had amazing parents, but I was a little bit strange and I think it just scared the hell out of them. When you’re a kid you feel that.”

At Norwell High, she recalled, “There was this incredible pressure to be as normal as you could possibly be.

“I was kinda weird. But I was always daydreaming, never would pay attention and sleeping all the time.

“So I’m really excited by the change that’s going down now. That a mother is able to support her son 100 percent and the kids are flourishing, being given permission to be who he is.”