'SNL': Mena Suvari Reflects on Hosting 20 Years Later (Exclusive)

Mena Suvari's episode of Saturday Night Live is turning 20 years old this week, and it still serves as one of the actress' personal highlights all these years later. Suvari, who is currently pregnant with a baby boy, hosted SNL on Jan. 20, 2001, still riding high off her roles in American Beauty and American Pie. Her episode served as a highlight of Season 26, with Suvari taking on a send-up of her Best-Picture-winning film, a goofy child model character and — her personal favorite — an impersonation of Aaron Carter.

During our PopCulture @ Home interview with Suvari for her new movie, Don't Tell a Soul, we brought up the anniversary, and she was beaming when discussing her time at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. She called the live gig "an incredible experience" and "one of the best of my life and my career," all while praising the team behind-the-scenes of the hectic sketch comedy series. She namechecked Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon and Chris Kattan when noting some of the "sweet" people behind the scenes,

"You think about how many times they go through that. And how it's always a new person that comes in. And they were just so welcoming and really guided me and took care of me, Suvari recalled. "I mean, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. It was like, what a wild experience. I invited my family and they're watching me in the audience thinking, 'How the hell did she get up there?' I don't know. It's like one of those surreal moments, but I loved that."

While Suvari is often remembered for her dramatic chops, such as those seen in Don't Tell a Soul, she also has a knack for comedy. She loved the SNL experience in-part due to being able to embrace this part of her skill set.

"I loved that kind of work opportunity because there was just something that I wished I could have done more of," Suvari said. "I mean, I grew up obsessed with Tracey Ullman, that kind of sketch (comedy). And it was so fast. It was so wild, but it was extremely exciting. I loved it. I wished I could have done more of it. ... It was so fun. I loved it. It was amazing. And being in New York then. Those were the days."


Our full PopCulture @ Home interview with Mena Suvari is available to watch at the top of this article and read in full Q&A format here. Don't Tell a Soul is available now via on-demand and digital providers, such as Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. If you're willing to go out to a movie theater, you can also watch the film in select theaters around the U.S.