Kate McKinnon takes a lot of pride in keeping in character

Global’s “Saturday Night Live” star hates breaking character. While “SNL” alums like Pete Davidson are notoriously beloved for breaking character, McKinnon dislikes when humour gets the better of her performances. She pointed to a “Close Encounter” alien abduction sketch where she pinched Ryan Gosling’s butt.

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“I felt ashamed, because we’re not supposed to, and there’s something unprofessional about it,” McKinnon said. “And yet sometimes it was just too fun. There was a hint, I guess, of wanting the audience to know, like, ‘Oh, man, I love this. You have no idea how much I love Aidy Bryant and how much I love this job and how much I love these jokes.’ So sometimes I would allow myself to just go there.

“The most meaningful moments were moments when, like on a Friday night at rehearsal, I decided to stop and look around at the people who I loved so much and just make a memory of it. Nothing special — we were all just sitting around, and Mikey [Day] was doing a bit or Alex [Moffat] was doing a bit, and we were catching up and just looking around at the crew. Those are the moments that meant the most.”

McKinnon was particularly emotional when reliving her departure from the show.

“Telling Lorne was really hard,” McKinnon told Vulture‘s “Good One” podcast through tears, per Variety. “He knew it was coming. He was very sweet. But he has been a father figure to me, and so much more. It was just really hard — simple human emotions, not wanting to say goodbye to something you love.

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“This is fresh. It only happened two months ago.”

“Saturday Night Live” airs at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on Global.