Kristen Wiig Walk Hard Interview


Kristen Wiig Walk Hard Interview

Kristen Wiig Takes her Comedy to a Bigger Screen.

Kristen Wiig Walk Hard Interview by Paul Fischer.

Described as one of the funniest women on TV's Saturday Night Live, she joined the hit show in its 31st season, as part of an energizing new "freshman" class of new cast members, including Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis.

Kristen Wiig was born in Rochester, New York, and graduated from Brighton High School in 1991. She performed as part of the renowned Groundlings comedy troup in Los Angeles, which was also the stomping grounds of former SNL cast members Laraine Newman, Jon Lovitz and Will Ferrell. In 2003, she landed a role on Spike TV's "The Joe Schmo Show," playing the part of marriage counselor Patricia Lane, or "Dr. Pat the Quack." Wiig also had bit parts on ABC's "The Drew Carey Show" and the short-lived "I'm With Her" in 2004. She also competed on "World Cup of Comedy" that same year. She also had bit parts in indie films such as "Life, Death & Mini-Golf," and "June," also in 2004. She was set to appear in the NBC comedy pilot "Thick and Thin," scheduled to debut in 2006, along with SNL co-star Chris Parnell.

In her 2005 debut on "SNL," Kristen Wiig was an instant hit with memorable impressions of Judy Garland, Drew Barrymore and Megan Mullaly, all of which led to her being cast as the wife of Dewy Cox in the biopic parody Walk Hard. Wiig talked comedy to Paul Fischer.

Paul Fischer: Is this a great year for women on "SNL"?

Kristen Wiig: I think so. I think Amy and Maya are unbelievable. I think we have a good group.


Paul Fischer: I was going to say does it feel like your career is all of a sudden hitting the stratosphere because it seems like you're involved with a lot of projects--a lot of stuff upcoming?

Kristen Wiig: It doesn't feel that way to me maybe just because-I'm definitely grateful for everything and I'm surprised that I'm even like doing this. I don't know. It's all very surreal to me. It hasn't quite hit me yet I don't think.


Paul Fischer: What's the secret of playing a character like this in a movie like Walk Hard? Is it keeping it real and not be aware of the absurdity?

Kristen Wiig: Yeah, we tried-I think that's one of the reasons why it worked-this movie....especially John. He's so committed to being this guy. It's almost like does "Dewey Cox" really exist? Is he a real person because he's playing him so well? Because there's so many absurd things in the movie I think we had to somewhat be kind of based in reality and have the music be really good just to make it make sense.


Paul Fischer: You have a particular challenge I think of juggling babies while you were…

Kristen Wiig: Yeah, there were a lot of babies. A lot of babies and animals around. I'd never worked with 1 baby let alone 50 that were filling around the set. Like coming out of cupboards and stuff. No, I was more nervous than I needed to be I think because I thought it was going to be like crying babies like crawling up my body. Like attack of the babies-because they made it seem like you're going to have a million kids in this movie and you're going to look terrible and you're going to always be pregnant. Those were like the 3 things they told me. And I was like yeah, of course I'll do it. They were sweet. The moms were right there and you know it was fine.


Paul Fischer: How were the moms? We they very like hands on?

Kristen Wiig: In a good way though. They would hold them until like the last minute and kind of like we'd get familiar with each other and hand them off, then I'd give them back.


Paul Fischer: What about the fun part about this movie is one of your 1st scenes when you play a 12 year old?

Kristen Wiig: Yes.


Paul Fischer: Did you hark back to your own childhood?

Kristen Wiig: I looked at a lot of old pictures. No. Yeah, just some extra makeup and a ponytail and we can all look 12.


Paul Fischer: No, I wouldn't say exactly that.

Kristen Wiig: Well, you'd put your baseball hat on like crooked.


Paul Fischer: The movie is about 90 minutes or so, and there was a lot of stuff that was cut. Was there any sequence that you were in that you were sad to see go?

Kristen Wiig: Only because there was a little injury. I was thinking that maybe that would make it in. We did a scene where it was just going to be part of a montage of Dewey and I fighting and beating each other up and then looking at each other with passion and then coming in and kissing each other. But we both went in really, really hard on the 1st take and like busted each other's lips open. Like my lip was bleeding and we had an ice packs on and we just had to fake it after that and it didn't make it in the movie after all that.


Paul Fischer: And regarding this season at "SNL", has there been a specific sketch or episode or moment this season that's really, before the strike, that stood out for you? Something you really enjoyed?

Kristen Wiig: Oh my gosh. Like of anyone's in the show?


Paul Fischer: Like maybe a sketch you were in or just a host?

Kristen Wiig: Brian Williams was a highlight for me. He was really, really funny. I knew him briefly before we did the show but I also knew that so many people wanted to see how he was going to be as a host because he's such a serious news guy. He was up for anything and he's really, really funny. I was excited to see him do so well.


Paul Fischer: And you're in a few upcoming projects like "Ghost Town" with Ricky Gervais. You're doing "Adventureland". You have a lot of stuff. Could you talk a little bit about these upcoming roles?

Kristen Wiig: Sure. Well, "Ghost Town" is a small role, I play a surgeon that didn't do very good surgery on Ricky Gervais and have a couple awkward conversations with him about that. And then "Adventureland" was written by Greg Matolla who did "Superbad" and directed "Superbad". Bill Hader and I play a husband and wife who run an amusement park but not very well. It's a trend. I'm doing these jobs but not very well. Then another movie I really very proud of is called "Pretty Bird" that I just got into... it's a competition film at Sundance. So I'm very excited about that.


Paul Fischer: I wanted to know, could you talk a little bit about working with Paul in that film and also are you going to Sundance?

Kristen Wiig: Paul Giamatti or Snyder? I only worked with him 1 day and it was a scene where we're all sitting there. He had to come in and yell at us. I was legitimately scared because he's such an amazing actor and performer. He was like turning red and he was so angry. I was like in awe-like the crew. Everyone was watching that day. It was unbelievable. I'm such a huge fan of his.


Paul Fischer: Are you going?

Kristen Wiig: I don't know yet. It depends if we're back at work at "SNL" or not if the strike ends.


Paul Fischer: I was going to of course say were you a fan of Ricky Gervais?

Kristen Wiig: Oh, I'm like a nerd about him. Yeah, I'm a huge "Office," "Extras," I love him. Yeah.


Paul Fischer: What's been the experience been like of the non-aired "SNL's" that have been happening during the strike. People getting together and .....

Kristen Wiig: We just did one show at UCV in New York and it was really, really fun. Michael Cera was the host and yeah, it was like a real show. We had a musical guest and we had our cue cards and our stage manager was there. It was all sketches that had been written before that had never made it on the air and the writers could kind of submit the sketch that they wanted to do. It was really fun.


Paul Fischer: Will you do it again?

Kristen Wiig: I don't know. I think it depends with the strike…I don't know how long…and yeah I don't know. Everything's kind of up in the air right now.


Paul Fischer: What else are you doing during this downtime?

Kristen Wiig: Well, I shot the "Ghost Town" movie and came out here and organizing my bureau at home. Trying to go picket and yeah, just hoping it all comes together soon and we find a resolution.


Paul Fischer: Do you think that the studios will come to their senses?

Kristen Wiig: Yes, I am. I am. I'm optimistic. I'm putting it out there. Yes.


Paul Fischer: Is "Pretty Bird" a drama?

Kristen Wiig: It's listed as a comedy but its at least a dark comedy.


Paul Fischer: Is that a particular desire for you to work in drama after being in comedy for so long?

Kristen Wiig: Yes, definitely. I hope that people will give me a chance to do that. I would love to. Definitely would love to.


Paul Fischer: What attracted you to that project? I know it's about somebody who built a rocket belt.

Kristen Wiig: Rocket belt. Yeah. The script was one of the best scripts that I had read and I literally was like I will do the smallest part in this movie. I just loved it. I met with Paul and he's just an amazing artist. He had this whole book of... kind of his vision of the movie and different scenes and how he wanted the feel to be and I just knew it was going to be an really incredible project. Plus Paul Giamatti and Billy Cruddup you can't go wrong with those.


Paul Fischer: Who directed that?

Kristen Wiig: Paul Snyder.


Paul Fischer: Is this your first film that you've been in that's made it into Sundance?

Kristen Wiig: Yes. It's a huge dream of mine, so I'm really excited about that.


Paul Fischer: You've never been to Sundance before I take it?

Kristen Wiig: No.


Paul Fischer: And I wanted to know, could you talk a little bit about working with Billy Cruddup because he's so...he doesn't do interviews. He's a very private person. What was he like on-set?

Kristen Wiig: Not particularly private. I mean, we'd joke around a lot and he was a normal kind of regular guy. He was really sweet. We had to kiss in the movie and it was the first time I really had to have an on-screen like moment of passion. He was very patient and good with me because I was nervous.


Paul Fischer: And if we could jump back into "Adventureland" for a second. This is Matolla's follow up to "Super Bad". Could you just talk a little bit more about the film and what he was like directing? I know this was a passionate project for him.

Kristen Wiig: Yes, the script was really funny. He's a very actor friendly director. He kind of wants to hear your take on things and I would love to be able to work with him again. He was just an easy, laid back, never got frustrated kind of guy. And he's super talented. There you go. I hope he hears that.


Paul Fischer: When you make a parody movie there's an inference that you don't think highly of the movie that it parodied. How do you like things like "Walk the Line"?

Kristen Wiig: Oh, "Walk the Line" is one of my favorite movies of the year last year. Was it last year or 2 years ago?


Paul Fischer: It was 2 years ago.

Kristen Wiig: Anyway, I really liked it. I love watching those movies. I think people like to see the lives of artists that are legends. They always go through the dark periods and I think just as humans we like to see that and them coming out of it. I love those kinds of movies.


Paul Fischer: I think it's a risk when you do parodies and the satire of "Saturday Night Live" is that people might assume you could be kind of a cynical person.

Kristen Wiig: Yeah, I think understanding that it's not making fun of anything in particular but just taking a comedic look at things that most people think of as serious. I never think if I do an impression of someone, I'm never making fun of them. I think this movie is just taking the very typical storyline that a lot of those movies have of just them being discovered at a young age and getting married and having lovers and the drugs. I mean a lot of them really do follow that same storyline so I think that's kind of what they took that and ran with it.


Paul Fischer: Have you ever met anybody that you've impersonated?

Kristen Wiig: Yeah, I have. Drew Barrymore. I did an impression of her on the show, but I love Drew Barrymore and she had a great attitude about it of course. She thought it was funny. I think that's it actually.


Paul Fischer: You were in the biggest sketch that probably "SNL" has ever done which is Dick in the Box.

Kristen Wiig: Yes, you're the first person to ask me about that.


Paul Fischer: I'm curious when you were making it, did you know what it was and are you surprised by how many people-how that caught on?

Kristen Wiig: Yes and no. I knew when I just heard the song that this was going to be…people were going to like it and laugh and showing up on-set and just seeing everyone's costumes and the crazy set that we had. I knew that I would think it was funny and you never expect the reaction that you really get. This was like huge. So many people were that for Halloween. It was crazy. So I did expect it because I knew it was funny, but you never expect the level to which it goes.


Paul Fischer: Were you at a Halloween party where someone came in dressed like that?

Kristen Wiig: No, but I saw a lot of pictures of people. I think Nick Lachey was…wasn't he one? Am I getting that wrong?


Paul Fischer: Nick in the Box.

Kristen Wiig: Nick in the Box, that's good. Yes.


Paul Fischer: You were so good in "Knocked Up" and I was just wondering is Judd writing for you or do you go and read for him?

Kristen Wiig: Well, "Knocked Up" was the first time I ever worked with him so I auditioned for that role and Seth Rogan and I were improvising and they just told me to kind of do it a bunch of different ways and he hired me for that movie and then this movie I auditioned as well and went in and John was there. I think he likes to see the chemistry too between the actors because John C. Reilly was there and we improvised for like 15 minutes and it was really fun.


Paul Fischer: Do you think that will be on the DVD?

Kristen Wiig: Oh God, I don't know. Maybe.


Paul Fischer: Are there any extra stuff that we're going to see on the DVD that you remember? Because the first cut of this movie was like 4 hours long.

Kristen Wiig: Oh yeah I'm sure because there was a lot of improvising I'm sure the DVD is going to be like-you'd give yourself a couple of days to watch it.


Paul Fischer: You've seen the movie, right?

Kristen Wiig: I have seen it, yes.


Paul Fischer: Is there anything that was cut that you'd hope would make it on the DVD?

Kristen Wiig: Maybe when we bust each other's lips open. Just seeing us go in and then recoil back and cover our mouths would be funny to see. I'm sure there are other things but I don't remember.


Paul Fischer: How close do you come on "SNL" to just breaking and losing it?

Kristen Wiig: I am determined not to do that. I try very hard. It's really hard sometimes. Also I know me that when I start laughing I'm like gone and I can't recover.


Paul Fischer: Do you still have the fear when it's about to start-that live TV-please don't break?

Kristen Wiig: Yes, I do. There's a lot of biting of the inner lip on the side of my mouth when something's very funny. I just like bit the side of my mouth.


Paul Fischer: Who's the worst at doing that?

Kristen Wiig: Of breaking? I don't know. We don't really do it that much. We really try not to.

Paul Fischer: Horatio Sands used to break all the time. Jimmy Fallon was the worst.Who most often brings you to that point where you're about to...?


Kristen Wiig: Will Forte hands down. I laugh. He just says one word and I laugh.


MORE