‘Bridesmaids’ Star Kristen Wiig Talks About Its ‘Shocking’ Success
Photo: Universal Pictures
The answer, it turns out, was "Just fine, thank you." The movie opened strong and went on to become a word-of-mouth sensation, staying in the top ten at the box office for eight straight weeks. And with a domestic gross of nearly $170 million, "Bridesmaids" became the biggest moneymaker of producer Judd Apatow's career.
With "Bridesmaids" hitting DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, I got a chance to speak to the movie's star and co-writer Kristen Wiig about how she's still amazed by its success and which scene was the hardest for her to get through without laughing.
Matt McDaniel: At what point did you know that you had a monster hit on your hands?
Kristen Wiig: Gosh, that's such a hard question. I mean, when you go into these things you never know. You really never know. I think the DVD commentary we actually recorded the day before the movie came out. But I don't know, you spend all this time on something and you work really hard and then it's done, and you like send it out into the world.
I remember talking on the phone with Annie [Mumolo, her co-writer] the day that it opened and we were just like, "Oh my gosh, are people going to see it? Are people going to watch it? Like, what's going to happen?" Because it's either going to be out of the theater soon, or maybe people will like it. I mean, you have no idea. So it's hard to even say that I know it's a hit now. I know that sounds weird, but, I don't know, it's hard to explain. It's so shocking.
MM: I am correct that it's the most successful film that Judd Apatow has produced?
KW: I did read that.
MM: Are you calling up Seth Rogen and just shouting, "In your face?" Or giving Steve Carell a little ribbing?
KW: No, I mean, Judd is where he is for a reason, and our movie would not be what it is without him, so I owe that man a lot.
MM: So what did he bring to the mix?
KW: Well, first of all, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have written the movie with Annie, because he is the one that started the whole thing by asking me to write something after I did "Knocked Up." He really guided us through the rewrite process, and at the same time, the first few drafts, he was like, "Go write, just write whatever you want. Send it to me, we will talk about it."
There were parts in the script that needed to be punched up and parts of the script that we realized we didn't need, and the full shaping of it is really Judd and Paul [Feig] too, the director.
MM: And you have just such an incredible cast. Did you know everyone going in and have an idea of what they were going to bring?
KW: I knew most everyone. I didn't know Chris O'Dowd, I mean, I met him at the audition, and I didn't know Ellie [Kemper] or Rose [Byrne], but yeah, first rehearsal and it was pretty much like we had all known each other for ten years.
MM: Now, obviously there are a lot of real vets at improvising, and then you have got someone like Rose, who is more known as a dramatic actress. How did she handle herself, and how did you help everyone who wasn't into improvising get into that mode?