Former ‘SNL’ cast member Ana Gasteyer on ‘American Auto’

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(NBC) — If you caught the “Saturday Night Live” replay of its Betty White episode back on New Year’s Day, you caught some work of former cast member Ana Gasteyer.

These days, Gasteyer’s starring in “American Auto,” a new Tuesday comedy on NBC that’s gotten praise from many critics.

In an interview, she talked about what makes her character unique.

The power of positive thinking’s one thing but the new CEO of Payne Motors puts a different spin on it in NBC’s “American Auto.”

“She’s all about the bottom line and she’s all about motivating people, and she doesn’t really care if it’s hard for them to, it’s not her problem to solve, so she’s like, ‘go solve it, that’s fine,’” Gasteyer said.

She plays CEO Katherine Hastings, a former pharmaceutical CEO put in charge of the struggling automaker, despite knowing next to nothing about cars.

“She has an MBA, she’s trained, she has a sense of how to make, how to make herself look good at the top,” she said.

Gasteyer’s part of a diverse ensemble cast that bonded even more than usual while filming during COVID.

“You could socialize with one another somewhat because we were tested at the same pace and we were pretty much only seeing one another,” she said.

Just another way Gasteyer sees “American Auto” reflecting the current moment.

“It’s a show about Americans being bad at being good, you know, and trying really hard to do the right thing, but also, you know, worrying about their stock options at the same time,” she said.

The fuel for a comic engine.

“American Auto” airs tonight at 8 p.m., followed by a new episode of the comedy “Grand Crew” and then, at 9, an all-new “This Is Us.”

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