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20 Things You Didn't Know About Ellie Kemper

Updated September 25, 2019 515.5k views20 items

Who is Ellie Kemper? Oh, you know, just the amazing actress portraying the lovable and always optimistic Kimmy Schmidt. Not only that, but she’s also a triple threat: actress, comedian, and writer. Kemper knows how to breathe life into a character and make the world fall in love with her over and over again. Besides starring in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she also appeared in The Office, Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

In her hit Netflix comedy, Kemper portrays a young woman who spent her formative years held captive in a bunker. Upon release, she decides to move to New York and live life to the fullest. Similar to her character, Kemper spent years in the industry before becoming a household name. She finally got her big break playing Erin Hannon on The Office in the late 2000s.

You may be familiar with part of Ellie Kemper’s biography, but did you know she was a frequent contributor for The Onion? That she’s neighbors with Tina Fey? Or that her high school drama teacher was none other than hunk Jon Hamm? There are Ellie Kemper facts to learn, so you might want to make yourself comfortable.  
  • She Thought Smoking Would Make Her Cool

    She Thought Smoking Would Make Her Cool
    Video: YouTube

    Celebrities, they’re just like us! Kemper told Conan O’Brien that when she first moved to New York, she picked up smoking because she thought it would make her look cool. "One thing I did when I first moved here... I took up smoking for four days," the actress said.

    "I don't smoke anymore. But I thought, 'Well I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing. Maybe this will open up some new possibilities?' (...) And so I practiced smoking in my apartment."

  • Her Sister Was a Writer on 'The Office'

    Her Sister Was a Writer on 'The Office'
    Photo: NBC
    Ellie’s little sister, Carrie Kemper, worked as a writer on The Office while Ellie played Erin. After The Office, Carrie joined Silicon Valley as a writer and producer for season two.
  • She Loved Her Time on 'Bridesmaids'

    She Loved Her Time on 'Bridesmaids'
    Photo: Universal

    There was a lot of female bonding on the set of Bridesmaids. At the Los Angeles mansion where the bridal shower scene occurred, the actresses all spent their downtime "sitting on a lawn, drinking Diet Sunkist in the heat, and chatting about nothing of any grave importance,” Kemper told Vanity Fair.

    She also added she didn’t expect the movie to be such a huge success.

  • She Comes from a Wealthy Family

    She Comes from a Wealthy Family
    Photo: Netflix

    Kemper was born into one of the wealthiest families in Missouri. Her grandmother is Mildred Lane Kemper, who became the namesake of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Her father, David Kemper, is chairman and CEO of Commerce Bancshares, a banking company.