Despite multiple reports that Kristen Wiig is leaving Saturday Night Live, the Bridesmaids actress is considerably cagier on the subject. Her contract is up at the end of this season, but Wiig isn’t ready to make any major announcements yet.
“I don’t know,” she told Alec Baldwin on his morning podcast Here’s the Thing on Monday. “Well, everyone has to leave.”
“This is my seventh year and that’s my family,” she said. “It’s my heart. It’s New York to me.”
“I will say that when I do leave it’s not because I’m sick of it and not because I see something better or anything like that,” Wiig explained. “It’s just that it’s time. When I do leave, it will be the hardest thing… you’re there for a week and on Saturday night you’re sad because you leave these people.”
Sounds ominous. Even more ominous was this comment: “You have to leave things that you love.”
That doesn’t mean that Wiig isn’t grateful for the learning experience she has gained from being on the show — in fact, she said she has grown as a performer because of it.
“That, I have to say, one of the greatest gifts that I’ve gotten from SNL is getting out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I realized, and I think Lorne [Michaels] realized probably the first handful of years that I was there, most of my characters were ladies in their 40s with short hair and weird sweaters, that no one wanted at their dinner party. The good thing about being at SNL, for me creatively, is to think, ‘Okay, I’m comfortable enough. I really want to try something that’s not something that I normally do.'”
“That’s when I actually first came up with the character Shana, the one that’s sexy but then [does] gross things,” she continued. “I was like, ‘I really want to write a character that looks kind of good but blank,’ and that’s where the flirting lady came from, too. I didn’t really know what that was going to be. None of it was on the page when we wrote it.”
That experience will help her out in her next projects: Revenge for Jolly!, Imogene and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.