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20 Things You Didn't Know About Ellie Kemper

Updated September 25, 2019 517.9k 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.  
  • Jon Hamm Was Her High School Drama Teacher

    Jon Hamm Was Her High School Drama Teacher
    Video: YouTube


    Before he was her co-star on Kimmy Schmidt, Jon Hamm was Ellie Kemper's teacher! She only had him for one year, but she told Elle he “made such a difference in that short amount of time.”

    He’s the one who taught her that the most important thing in improv is to always buy into the premise. Guess his instructions worked!


  • She Did Improv

    She Did Improv
    Photo: Netflix
    Upon moving to New York City, Kemper participated in the People's Improv Theatre and the city troupe of Upright Citizens Brigade. She performed with many improvisers, including Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, Chris Caniglia, and Joe Lipari. 
  • She Loved 'The Mindy Project'

    She Loved 'The Mindy Project'
    Photo: Fox
    When chatting with Alec Baldwin, she told him she’s a big fan of The Mindy Project. “It’s so her! It’s her distinctive voice, it’s so supremely funny. (…) I love it. And it makes me cry,” she said. Mindy Kaling also starred in The Office
  • She Wants to Write a Book

    She Wants to Write a Book
    Photo: Netflix

    In 2010, Ellie and her sister Carrie announced they were writing a book together, and it was scheduled to be released in 2012. However, Kemper later told Alec Baldwin that the project was put on hold.

    However, she admitted that she really wants to write a book of essays one day, “some non-fiction, some fiction”.