5 Things: Kristen Wiig

This article appeared in Empire, published in May, 2010.

1. She’s the funniest woman alive… Not just our take, but the take of top comedy superstar Mr. Simon Pegg, who wrote a role specifically for Wiig in his upcoming science-fiction comedy, Paul. “I’m like a little acolyte of hers now. I just follow her around,” he says. “She’s possibly the funniest person I’ve ever worked with.”

2. She has single-handedly saved SNL… Endlessly versatile, with a wide array of kooky characters to draw upon, including the pathological liar Penelope, Wiig has re-moulded the once-moribund Saturday Night Live into essential viewing. Now in her fifth season on the show, she’s become its MVP. Essentially, then, she’s a female Will Ferrell. Only much, much more attractive.

3. She’s making the break into films in a big way… This month alone, she turns up in supporting roles in Drew Barrymore’s Whip It and Mike Judge’s Extract, while she’s got Paul and SNL spin-off, MacGruber, also in the bag. But she’s just signed on for her first headlining gig, in a wedding comedy which she also wrote. Judd Apatow will produce.

4. She doesn’t take herself seriously… Some comedians aren’t happy unless they’re miserable. The 35 year-old New Yorker, though, is a delight – when Empire visited the set of Paul, for example, she filled time between takes by making up deliberately convoluted ‘name that film’ games. “We sing to each other more than we talk to each other,” she giggled of her co-stars. “I laugh so much – who wouldn’t around these guys?”

5. She’s got a fallback… If her comedy career ever hits the bricks – and trust us, it won’t – Wiig has a back-up. She graduated as an art major from the University of Arizona. Her first job? A graphic designer at a plastic surgery clinic, showing people what they might look like post-op. Well, it’s a living…