Maya Rudolph 'didn't know how to navigate' leaving “SNL”: 'We're trained to be underdogs'

Maya Rudolph 'didn't know how to navigate' leaving “SNL”: 'We're trained to be underdogs'

She called returning to "Saturday Night Live" after having a baby the most transformative time in her career. "I gave no more f---s," she said.

Leaving a job can be disorienting under the best of circumstances. That was the case for Maya Rudolph when she left Saturday Night Live in 2007.

"I didn't know how to navigate getting out," Rudolph said in The Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Actress Roundtable, adding that she thought she'd be there "forever."

Rudolph spent seven years on the cast and has returned frequently as a guest and a host, most recently taking hosting duties earlier this month.

However, she acknowledged that the show provided the foundation for everything that came next. "You're learning comedy combat, and you can take that with you anywhere," Rudolph said.

Related: Maya Rudolph says she couldn't create what she did on Saturday Night Live today

She called her time on the long-running show the most transformative period of her career. "First, I was going to say SNL [was the most transformative period], but like, 'Duh.' Then I was going to say post-SNL. Then I was going to say Bridesmaids," she explained. "But really, coming back to SNL after I had my daughter was transformative because I gave no more f---s."

<p>Will Heath/NBC via Getty</p> Maya Rudolph

Will Heath/NBC via Getty

Maya Rudolph

She was joined on the panel by Ego Nwodim, Quinta Brunson, Michelle Buteau, Kristen Wiig, and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who said that the women who left the show were a supportive "sorority" in their post-SNL careers, but have also been "accepting and affirming" of other women in the comedy world. " It seems like you go out of your way to be like, 'Hey, I see you. I got you,'" she said.

Related: Maya Rudolph's Beyoncé still can't handle the heat in SNL's Hot Ones parody sequel: 'Why can't I slay this?'

"I think it's because we're trained to be underdogs," Rudolph responded. "The beautiful movie star comes in and sprinkles us and says, 'Hey!' Then, they leave. It's the nature of the show, the not-ready-for-primetime players. You have this vibe of, 'I'm nothing. I'll make you look good.'"

Everett Collection Maya Rudolph
Everett Collection Maya Rudolph

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While Rudolph may have struggled to know what came next, it's clear that she figured it out. She's voiced characters in Big Hero 6, IF, and Big Mouth, starred in movies like Bridesmaids and Wine Country, and currently leads the cast of the Apple TV+ show Loot, on which she is also an executive producer. 

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