It is July and the heat outside is intense, but inside standing behind a monitor, the coolness of comedy queens is icy good. Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo wrote the Bridesmaids script together and filled it with personal experiences and fictional accounts alike, with both equaling the promise for extreme humor. In the scene we’re watching, Wiig and co-star Maya Rudolph are standing in an estate’s elegant front doorway discussing the engagement party going on inside.
This conversation is captured on film by director Paul Feig merely feet away from us. The topic of Rudolph and Wiig’s chat is the character portrayed by Get Him to the Greek’s Rose Byrne. Wiig is portraying Rudolph’s maid of honor and lifelong best friend. Byrne is Rudolph’s new friend from work and thus is established a comedic competition for Rudolph’s maid of honor title and responsibilities.
Wiig and Rudolph are joined in Bridesmaids by an uncanny comedy cast including Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911) and Ellie Kemper (The Office). Bridesmaids also served as the final cinematic appearance of the late, great Jill Clayburgh.
In a room at this astounding North Los Angeles estate, SheKnows is joined by Kristen Wiig and her writing soul mate Annie Mumolo for a little talk about Bridesmaids. Their film, from producer Judd Apatow, premieres everywhere in May.
Also, stay with SheKnows all week for our interviews with Kemper, Rudolph, Byrne and director Feig from the set of Bridesmaids!
Dont’ miss: Love lessons we’ve learned from Bridesmaids >>
Visiting the Bridesmaids
SheKnows: You two wrote and Kristen stars in Bridesmaids. How much of the film is truly what you have experienced?
Kristen Wiig: Well, we were just talking about that. I think we originally got the idea after attending quite a few weddings [laughs].
Annie Mumolo: I was in a series of about twenty weddings and I was like somebody has to write about the real state of what it’s really like to be a bridesmaid — what it really is like, what it does to you and the dynamics between women. That’s where it started.
SheKnows: Sounds like a fantastic formula for both comedy and drama…
Kristen Wiig: You know, I had a bachelorette party that I couldn’t afford to go to for a close friend. Things like that are what we wanted to explore amongst other dynamics of a set of bridesmaids.
SheKnows: Writing can be a solitary process but you guys obviously write well together. How does that work writing with a partner?
Kristen Wiig: We’ve been writing together for so long. We wrote so many things together at the Groundlings. We just have a really…well, it’s never work. It’s just like we have such a very easy rapport with each other. We write things. If we want to change something or we don’t like something, we never [pauses] we’ve actually never fought about anything. It’s so easy and we laugh a lot.
Annie Mumolo: [Laughs] Yeah, we do laugh a lot — which is very fun. It’s not like work is the best way to say it.
Kristen Wiig: Yeah, we laugh a lot when we write. We write something and we say, “That was good.”
They both laugh.
SheKnows: Is it a different experience for you as a performer to build a character that is the center of the movie?
Kristen Wiig: Totally. Yeah, because you have to find that character that you want to play that makes sense as the central person that everything’s happening around — and at the same time not make them too crazy where the audience is sick of you after half an hour [laughs]. We have such a voice in it and it is my first leading role. I just put pressure on myself anyway.
SheKnows: How would you say things are going so far?
Kristen Wiig: We’re very happy with the way everything’s going but a little fear mixed with excitement I think.
Kristen’s in every scene!
SheKnows: Now Kristen, is the shoot difficult since you’re in every scene?
Annie Mumolo: She’s in every scene. She’s in every single shot.
Kristen Wiig: Oh, we didn’t think about that when we wrote it [laughs].
Annie Mumolo: From the start she’s like, “Oh, oh! I’m in every scene. I’m done.”
They both laugh.
SheKnows: Kristen, you’re surrounded by a who’s-who of female comedy powers, how has that experience been for you…inspiring?
Kristen Wiig: There are so many funny ladies out there! Just the opportunity to have them come in and show people what they do — I’m so grateful that we were given the opportunity to have a voice in some of the casting and the people in this movie, the cast…
Annie Mumolo: We’re so lucky to have people we’ve known for years from the Groundlings or wherever. Even still today when I see all the trucks and the lights [on the set] it’s like my God, it’s humbling.
SheKnows: Who were some of the people that you envisioned when you were writing the characters?
Kristen Wiig: Well, Wendi. We wrote that part for Wendi. Actually there are a lot of people, well tons of people that we were really sort of dreaming about. We had actually written another part for Melissa McCarthy then she got this different part and she’s killing it.
SheKnows: There aren’t a lot of movies like this out there for women to showcase their incredible comedic talent. Was that another goal for you, Annie and Kristen?
Kristen Wiig: We all wanted to make a different kind of a movie. There hasn’t been a lot of female comedy recently. Knowing that Judd Apatow’s behind it is truly something.
SheKnows: Bridesmaids is obviously from the woman’s perspective. Do you think there is a difference in comedy from a female perspective versus a male’s?
A movie marriage of Wiig & Apatow
Kristen Wiig: This movie is about the girl’s perspective of a wedding. It’s a weird thing to be part of sometimes. Even when they (Apatow’s team) read the first version of the script, there was a little bit of, “Oh, I have no idea, but I think most guys would probably get all ape if they really knew all the (expletive) you have to do.”
SheKnows: You mentioned Judd Apatow and his role on Bridesmaids. For you personally, how have you found the creative experience with Judd?
Kristin Wiig: Any movie is such a huge collaboration. Having Judd behind us and having his voice there, just having him supporting us, there has been so much impetus from him that has been so incredibly valuable. Knowing that he wanted to do this movie and believed in the script — I don’t even know how to describe it. You feel like a force behind you. He’s such a force.
Annie Mumolo: His game from the very beginning has always been, we’ve got to set her (points to Kristen) up and hit her out of the park. He never stops. He never stops.
Kristen Wiig: He wants everyone to have their moment when we do a scene. He wants everyone to look good and be funny and be a part of it, which is so awesome.