‘The Hollywood Reporter’ SNL Special Portraits

With the 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Live coming up, The Hollywood Reporter photographed some of the castmembers (both old and new) for an upcoming issue. Kristen Wiig was (of course) featured, next to Laraine Newman in the group called “The Characters”. A quote from Kristen about her character Penelope can be read below, then check out the full slideshow at THR.com.

“Penelope. She was inspired by someone I know. One day I saw this woman and said, ‘I’m getting a massage on Monday,’ and she says, ‘Actually, I just had a massage.’ OK, you win — I guess? I’ve always been fascinated by social behaviors when people don’t know I’m looking,” says Kristen Wiig (right). “When you’re on SNL, you’re hyper-aware of everything because you’re constantly looking for material.”

Also, the mastermind producer Lorne Michaels was interviewed about his time on the show. He talked a bit about Wiig and the tricky timing on when to leave the show. Here’s what he had to say:

You’re in a tricky spot: The better your castmembers do, the more likely you are to lose them. How do you advise people on the right time to leave?

The clumsy metaphor I like to use is you build a bridge to the next thing, and when it’s solid enough, you walk across. You can’t just react to the first thing, because it’s not solid enough yet. So, for someone like Kristen [Wiig], God bless her, she did Bridesmaids, which was a huge hit, and then she came back and did another season. Will Ferrell did the same. They also have a pact with the people who watch the show: They were there, they loved you at the beginning, they told everyone else about you and they showed up for everything you did. So you have to make sure that you honor that because if you don’t, you look as if you’re just about ambition, which there is more than enough of in the real world. And we don’t represent only the real world; we represent some level of what you hope people would be like.