Former Saturday Night Live cast member and current star of the Apple TV Plus show Loot, Maya Rudolph, revealed that she felt “embarrassed and humiliated” during a 2009 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
In an interview with WSJ Magazine, Rudolph said she didn’t know how to react when Letterman flubbed her name.
“He said my name wrong, and I just sat there, like, I grew up my whole life in love with you. And now my heart is broken. And I’m sitting here embarrassed and humiliated. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know how to come up with something funny to say. My public persona muscle wasn’t strong yet.”
Rudolph also admitted that she wasn’t the most comfortable with public appearances early in her career and that exacerbated the issue with the talk show legend.
“It would always feel like someone was stealing my soul. That’s where, over the years, I created a persona to protect myself. I’ve definitely gotten much better. When I’m uncomfortable, I try to be funny.”
Rudolph, who is definitely a famous person, said she doesn’t consider herself one.
“I know I’m a working actor and people know who I am, but I don’t feel like a celebrity, because that word means something else today to me. There are a lot of different types of celebrities these days and a lot of self-made celebrities where people are famous for being famous, and that isn’t what I do.”
She added that she considers herself a normal human being with the same issues that everyone else has.
“Believe me, I am not a Pollyanna who’s like, I smile all day, every day. I get stressed out, I get pissed off, but I learned I could make a choice for myself, and it’s liberating. Maybe people who’ve worked as long as I have make other choices and have nicer cars. I don’t know, but it’s so important for me to have that balance.”
Loot is currently streaming on Apple TV Plus.