One of the weirdest little subcategories of things I like is when an actor shows up in two different movies in a film series playing totally different characters for no particular reason.
Weird, right? But now you can add Kristen Wiig to the list of people who have done that, since she played a very small role in “Despicable Me” as a character named “Miss Hattie,” and now in “Despicable Me 2,” she is front and center as the so-happy-to-be-a-spy-she-is-giddy new character, Lucy. She is also Gru’s unlikely love interest in the film, and the two of them have a loose, easy connection that makes their material a lot of fun.
I am equally entertained by the notion that Wiig and Carrell are going to be paired again in “Anchorman: The Legend Continues,” and it looks like Brick has met his match, which should be hilarious. The trailer that was only released to theaters has a little bit more footage, and that’s where you get a good look at Wiig and Carrell together, both of them dim bulbs in a big way.
I am not surprised to see the two of them working together repeatedly right now. Carrell has been given his choice of most of the big comedy scripts out there and Wiig is now in the same position thanks to “Bridesmaids.” It’s almost inevitable that we’re going to see them in many of the same films in the immediate future.
What makes that okay is that neither of them just plays the same thing every time. The relationship between Gru and Lucy is based on her attraction to what he represents, and he is so clueless about how to even approach a woman that it reveals a vulnerability to this former bad guy. In “Anchorman,” it looks like they’re both playing total dingdongs, and that’s going to be fun just because there’s no punchline too silly. Here, the character work is very specific, and I do think their chemistry makes it work.
If this series continues, it looks like Wiig’s going to have to be back for the next one, and that can only be a good thing. She may have left “SNL,” but I have a feeling we’re in no danger of missing Wiig any time soon.
“Despicable Me 2” is in theaters now.