Kristen Wiig Interview – ‘Despicable Me 2’ – “I never really thought of myself as funny.”
Wearing a black blazer and a short white romper underneath teamed with a pair of black and white pumps, Kirsten Wiig, 39, voices a major role in Despicable Me 2, along with Steve Carell, Russell Brand, and Steve Coogan. The SNL alumna shot to worldwide fame with her international blockbuster, Bridesmaids in which she starred and co-wrote. She has also appeared in Date Night, Paul, Friends with Kids, and has several projects due for release this year. In her personal life, she is dating Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer for The Strokes and ex-boyfriend of Drew Barrymore. Wiig was formerly married to actor Hayes Hargrove from 2005 to 2009.
Q. You’ll be turning 40 soon – how do you feel about that? Is it exciting? Are you dreading it?
I’m not a big birthday person and I don’t really think about age that much but I’m excited. They say 40s are where it’s at!
Q. I know you’re in a relationship, but in the past were you a person who asks a man out?
It kind of depends. Each time is different, I guess, but I’m not normally the one that asks a guy out. It’s usually the guy
Q. Were you very confident with guys growing up?
No. (laughs). It’s hard – I think it’s hard and it’s rare to feel confident when you like someone and there’s always that bit of nervousness and that’s what makes it good and fun in the beginning
Q. is comedy is a defense mechanism for you?
I don’t know. I never thought of it like that, no.
Q. Being funny comes naturally?
I think it comes from different places and it comes out in different situations and in real life sometimes it’s there or it’s not. It’s hard to dissect where it comes from.
Q. Since SNL, how have learned to deal with fame? Is it a lot to deal with sometimes?
It’s a lot and I learned very quickly that you have to be very rigid with your time off because sometimes you decide to take a month or even a day off and then something comes up and you have to say no and be with yourself and with friends and family.
Q. How do you relax? Long bath? Yoga?
It kind of depends, sometimes I just need to be around people so I’ll be with friends and sometimes I just need to be with myself. I’m just like anyone else, I read, I walk, see my friends. I’m a pretty normal person
Q. You’re in great shape. Do you work out a lot?
I don’t work out every day, I don’t. This summer I’m hoping that I can get into a fitness regime, but I do walk.
Q: What do you watch on TV?
I don’t really watch that much TV.
Q: Do you still like Saturday Night Live?
I do. The new people on Saturday Night Live are amazing, they are really unbelievable, and it just goes to show that those people who were just as funny before they got SNL, there were so many people out there trying to get the chance.
Q: When did you feel that you were funny?
I know you are going to be like, ‘oh whatever,’ but I don’t feel myself as a funny person. I don’t know, I don’t really, I never really thought of myself as funny.
Q: What about in school?
Yeah, I was saying that I looked at my yearbook and some people thought I was funny and I look back and I don’t really remember. I know that’s such an annoying answer for someone who does comedy, (laughter) but I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘Oh, I am a funny person.’ I think because of what we do, people expect bigger things, like talking in voices (laughter) and I do think people get a little bummed out. I’ve been in interviews where people have been like, ‘Really? That’s it?’ I don’t know, I’m just a regular person I guess.
Q: Since Bridesmaids, I wonder if you could talk about how your life has changed? I know you have done tons of stuff professionally but how has your everyday life changed?
Probably not as much as you’d think. I mean, what really changes when you are in that position is that you get more opportunities, you get more offers to do things, you get to work with people that you want to work with and have more things come your way; you are on more people’s lists I guess, but other than that, not much. (laughs)
Q: And you must get recognized more?
Yeah, I do. That’s always a weird thing and it depends on how they do it. I think I am not a fan of people taking faraway pictures without asking, (laughter) I think that’s such a weird social thing that’s now acceptable. When you think about it, nobody really had a camera back in the day and that would have been just kind of weird, but now we all have cell phones, so it’s just kind of like a normal thing. So it’s hard to get used to that. How we should react? Your reaction might be weird to that person and then you are on camera, so that’s weird, it’s something I haven’t quite fully grasped yet, and it’s a very hard thing to understand and feel comfortable with.
Q: Do you not go out as much because it’s changed?
No, not really. But you do think like, would someone take a picture of me right now? Because you do see pictures of yourself in magazines where you didn’t know anyone was there, and you are just going to the store, and it’s very strange. I am the kind of person that will just put on clothes and leave the house, and I have had friends telling me like, ‘You can’t go out like that!’ (laughter) And I guess I can’t.
Q: How do you think Bridesmaids has transformed comedy, showing the world, finally, that women are funnier than men?
Yeah, I don’t think that Bridesmaids shows that women are funnier than men. I think that it gave more opportunities for women but I don’t know what it did. I know that people who write female comedies are getting more opportunities to make those movies, and I know that more female comedies are being made, but how it changed things I don’t really know or have a perspective on that. I don’t know. I mean, in some ways I was influenced by so many women and there have been funny women way before this and there’s a lot. I mean, I watched a lot of really old movies when I was younger, like Abbott and Costello and things like that, like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and a lot of the women on SNL that came before me inspired me a lot, so I don’t know, it’s such a hard thing to say. If more movies are being made, I am very happy about that.
Q: Do you think it sort of opened up for female comedy actresses?
I don’t know. That would be amazing and it’s a shame that something has to be opened in the first place, that it shouldn’t just be there already, so again, I don’t know a definitive answer for that, but I can say that I hope so and that would be great.
Q: Did you learn anything about your heritage when you grew up? Was that something that you learned from your father?
My dad’s father came over from Norway and I actually, my dad had never been there, and I took him last summer, for his 75th Birthday, and it was really fun and emotional and kind of he went and looked at records and where his dad had worked and in towns where his relatives had lived and stuff and it was really special because I feel very attached to the Norwegian side of me because of my last name. But it was really special to see my dad being there, just looking at the land and the water and just like seeing sort of his home country through his eyes. And my mom’s side is British.
Q: What kind of qualities do you think that you would have as a spy?
Oh gosh, I would be a terrible spy.
Because I would over think everything. You know in spy movies when they just think really fast and just do something that is like super coordinated? My brain doesn’t work that way. I would be like, ‘Oh do I go through that door?’ And then I would blow up. (laughter) I wouldn’t be good.
Q: The last ten years or so feels like a real renaissance for animated comedy, because it works on so many levels.
I think there are more sophisticated scripts now and they do tend to write for adults also and I think a lot of animated films like Up, and Toy Story and this movie and they have an emotional element. I mean, there are parts of animated films that have made me cry. (laughter) And you feel like, ‘Oh my God, this is animated, why am I crying?’ But it’s the same thing, it’s the same emotion, the same story and actors and performance that get you. It’s exciting, especially with this movie.
Q: When was the last time you cried at an animated movie? Was it at Up?
I definitely cried at Up. And Elmer Fudd, on TV, he just wants the rabbit. (laughter) And he can’t get him, because that would be the end of Bugs Bunny, they wouldn’t be able to do anymore shows. It’s sad, everyday, just wanting.
Q: Whose work in comedy do you particularly admire?
(laughs) That’s a lot of people. Everybody! Oh my gosh, that is a hard question to answer, I mean, Ricky Gervais always makes me laugh, I mean, there are a lot of people. It’s hard.
Q: Thank you.