Ellie Kemper Calls Her Kmart Commercial Her Version Of 'The Revenant' At The SAG Awards & It Was A Crazy Career Start

We know and love her as Kimmy Schmidt, but things weren't always so glamorous for this star — on E!'s Live From the Red Carpet, Ellie Kemper shared how she earned her SAG card. As she told Brad Goreski, Kemper received the coveted card after filming a KMart commercial that co-starred a tarantula. Surely it must have been fake, right? Nope: "[It] was a real tarantula... There was a tarantula wrangler," she explained. (Yeah, I didn't know that tarantula wrangler was an actual profession, either.)

Luckily, Kemper doesn't seem to have a fear of spiders and she was as upbeat as her character when she described the experience. "It was my mini version of The Revenant," she told Goreski, in arguably the most hilarious Revenant mention of the evening. Kemper acknowledged it was "the toughest thing I've had to do for a film." But, she has no hard feelings towards the aforementioned tarantula and described it as sweetly as one can when discussing a spider: "[It] was so large and soft. It was like a kitten almost."

It may be Saturday, but let's do a throwback anyway and take a look at Kemper's small screen debut:

Troy Torrison on YouTube

Since then, her career has taken off in a major way and she's up for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Kemper is in a category with some amazingly talented women, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler, Uzo Abuba, and Edie Falco — not too shabby for her first starring role in a TV series. But, let's never forget the tarantula and the commercial that put her on SAG's radar.

"That is how I earned my SAG card, with that commercial," she told Goreski. "So hurray!" Hurray indeed, and best of luck to Kemper this evening.