Kristen Wiig has become a household name on “SNL” by playing outrageous versions of people we’ve all had the misfortune to encounter. There’s Penelope, the woman who one-ups everything you say. She’s also half of “Two A-Holes,” the obnoxious couple you want to throw things at. And, of course, the excitable Target Lady. Her latest film role is in “Walk Hard,” out Friday, a slapstick parody of “Walk the Line” in which Wiig plays the constantly pregnant first wife of rock star Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly). It’s her third time working with comedy kingpin Judd Apatow, who produced this film and directed “Knocked Up,” in which she memorably played Katherine Heigl’s passive-aggressive co-worker. Wiig spoke to us from LA, where, she remarked gleefully, the weather was lovely.
Do you think there’s a particular “SNL” sketch that rose your stock?
The first recurring character I had on the show was the Target Lady – that was huge for me because I did that character at the Groundlings [improv group in LA]. So to have a character that came back, that they wanted me to write, was a great feeling. But one that I’ve done this past season that people mention to me is Penelope.
Katherine Heigl has been quoted as saying that, in retrospect, she thinks “Knocked Up” was “a little bit sexist.” Do you agree?
Well, I didn’t actually read that story – but no, I don’t agree with that at all.
When you got the part in “Walk Hard,” did you watch “Walk the Line” again, or any other country-star biopics?
I didn’t do any specific research, but I was familiar with what they were going for. I also wanted to make sure I didn’t just take on one particular character. The movie is a comedy, so my character is a combination of all of them – to the 10th degree.
Do you and your “SNL” castmates watch “30 Rock” and pick out the similarities?
There are definite similarities, and definitely things that aren’t even close. I mean, I love the show. It’s one of my favorite shows on TV; I think it’s hilarious. But as I’m watching it, I’m not consciously thinking about who’s like this.
Are there any movie roles you’d particularly want to play?
I do sort of gravitate towards smaller, indie-type movies. And I do also, as an audience member, enjoy a lot of the dramas that are out there. I would love to have been in “Sweeney Todd,” or even “Into the Wild.”
How gratifying was it to do the strike show at the Upright Citizens Brigade?
It was amazing. We just all got to be together and see each other. We all miss each other. We’re a very close group, and we work very closely on the show. Not seeing people for a while, it’s depressing. It was good to do the format again and be in front of a live audience.
PICKING HER BRAIN
“I really, really want to go to Paris. I’ve never been.”
We’re out so late on Saturday, and then you’re up at like 3 or 4 the next day. It’s a lot of lying around and catching up on e-mails, it’s a kind of restful day. I look forward to it every week.
“There Will Be Blood”
Daniel Day-Lewis – holy cow. He is … I can’t even imagine what it took to create that character. Oh my god, I was in awe.
City of Light
I’ve never been to France. I was an art major in college, and I’d love to go to all the museums. And I love looking at old architecture. I’m not as much a history person as an art person, but I mean, you can read history through art.
The Occasional Read
I haven’t picked it up in two months, but I’m reading this book on Ansel Adams and his life. It’s actually really interesting – I just haven’t had time to read, or if I do it’s to read a script.
I just like to walk around New York, just put my iPod on and walk around. Since I’ve been there, I’ve either been on the show or on mini-breaks in LA. So in many ways I feel like I’m not even a New Yorker yet. There are so many parts of the city I don’t know.
© 2007 Sara Stewart, NEW YORK POST.