Tina Fey Says 9-Year-Old Daughter Penelope Didn't Initially Get 'Girls5Eva' Role: 'It Was a Little Treat for Her'

"I was like, 'If we don't let her audition for this, she's going to kill us,' " Tina Fey, who executive produces the Peacock series, said on Today

Tina Fey
Tina Fey and daughter Penelope. Photo: Late Night With Seth Meyers

Tina Fey's daughter Penelope is a little star in the making!

The 9-year-old budding actress has a prominent role on her mother's hit Peacock sitcom, Girls5Eva. But getting the part was harder than you may thing!

And on Tuesday's episode of the Today show, Fey explained how her mini-me landed herself in the small-screen spotlight.

"Our daughter Penelope ended up being in the show. There was a part for a 9-year-old, and I was like, 'If we don't let her audition for this, she's going to kill us,' " Fey, 51, told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.

The Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live alum went on to explain that Penelope wound up putting herself "on tape."

Interestingly enough, Fey — as one of Girls5Eva's executive producers — was hesitant at first to give Penelope the role. "I can't let the boss' kid get the first part job they ever audition for," she joked.

So Fey and series creator Meredith Scardino hired another kid, who was ultimately unable to do the job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "I was like, Penelope, you're up." Fey said.

"She did a great job," Fey recalled. "And she was super professional, and for kind of a grim year of like distance learning and stuff, it was a little treat for her."

Tina Fey
Jeff Richmond, Alice Zenobia Richmond, Tina Fey, Kerry Butler and Penelope Athena Richmond. Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Later on Today with Hoda and Jenna, Fey revealed to Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager that she experienced at least one "stage mom" moment while her daughter was on set.

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"The only stage mom thing that I did that I was like, wow, this is not great, was our daughter Penelope was on set and she was doing a great job, and then like you know it takes a long time to shoot things and it's getting to be where you're trying to finish up things before you break for lunch... and I had a moment where I thought she was getting a little tired, and I was like, 'give her a Snickers,'" Fey said, joking that it was "the worst kind of stage mom" reaction.

"I was very, very proud of her," Fey said of Penelope, "because you know, it was one of those moments where you're like, oh you brought all your manners today."

Cast of Girls5Eva. Peacock

Along with Penelope, Fey shares 15-year-old Alice with husband Jeff Richmond.

In her conversation with Kotb and Guthrie, Fey joked that she was more willing to let Penelope get into acting because she is the youngest child.

"It is funny when you have your first kid, you're like, 'oh absolutely not,' you're so strict, and then when you have your second kid you're like, 'what do you want? You wanna get a tattoo? Let's do it,'" she said.

Girls5Eva — which was recently picked up for a season 2 — is now streaming on Peacock.

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