I am inordinately fond of Kristen Wiig.
When I saw an early, slightly shaggier cut of “Knocked Up,” one of the first things I said afterwards to Apatow is that whoever the network lady at E! was, she was fascinating. Every moment she’s on screen in that film, she’s the only one I’m watching. The choices she made, the way she twisted every line… just fascinating.
That was right around the time she was starting to blow up on “Saturday Night Live,” and over the course of her years on the show, she really carved out a spot for herself as a singular talent. Her approach to character entertains me because she never does what one would expect. I feel like she’s a throwback to the early days of the show, when Anne Beatts and Marilyn Miller wrote pieces for Gilda Radner and Lorraine Newman that were gentle and smart and utterly unlike anything that the boys on the show were doing.
Wiig has been part of a very interesting moment in the show’s history, and it seems like a particularly close-knit group of performers. That certainly hasn’t always been the case, and there are years on the show that must have seemed like full-scale warfare behind the scenes. I can’t imagine a final episode for someone like Bill Murray filled with tears and genuine sentiment. There was too much competition, too much at stake for the various performers. With this cast, it seems like there is a genuine team spirit, a sense that they are all focused on the same show, not jostling to see if they can take it over for themselves. And maybe that’s not true, but it seems that way.
When I sat down with Wiig to talk about her work in “Despicable Me 2,” I asked her about her last episode and how it seems like this year has been the first time I’ve ever seen this sort of emotional goodbye to the series. Her response? Well, watch for yourself, but I’ll say this… I like Wiig even more now. I think she is very genuine, and I’m curious to see where her film career goes now that she’s able to focus on it year-round.
I’ll have more of this interview and interviews with the rest of the “Despicable Me 2” team as we get closer to the film’s release.
“Despicable Me 2” opens July 3, 2013.