Kristen Wiig Bumps Up Her Star Profile

This article appeared in USA Today, published in September, 2007. Article by Donna Freydkin.

You know her as the high-strung Target clerk on Saturday Night Live, where she also has perfected her brittle impression of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Kristen Wiig’s profile just got bigger. A whole lot bigger.

That’s her, sporting an impressive baby bump in the comedy The Brothers Solomon, written by SNL co-star Will Forte and opening Friday. Wiig, 34, plays a woman hired to be the surrogate mother for two siblings (Forte and Will Arnett) who are desperate to fulfill their dying father’s final wish and become dads.

Enter Wiig’s Janine, who responds to a Craig’s List ad posted by the brothers and agrees to bear their child for a lot of green.

“Doing the movie made me want to be pregnant ? but not to have kids. There’s something very appealing about having a baby. But I have to warm up to the fact that they grow up and become teenagers,” she quips over a vegetarian lunch of black-bean sandwiches.

“Fortunately, I lost the baby weight very quickly. Like, by the end of the day.”

Her reason for the on-screen gestation was simple: “Will Forte wrote it, so that’s all I needed to know.”

The one issue that never enters into her career equation?

A wardrobe budget. In fact, the uglier Wiig can look on screen, the better. In Solomon, Wiig’s Janine is a mousy, bitter money-grubber with zero fashion sense and a hulking boyfriend. “It’s always more fun to play the loser. I mean, it’s fun to get your hair done and wear pretty dresses, but I must say, I deteriorate well,” she brags with a smile.

Next, Wiig plays John C. Reilly’s wife in Walk Hard, a comedy produced by Judd Apatow and scheduled for December. In Walk Hard, she’s not at all like her radiant real-life self. She’s another plain Jane.

“I look terrible,” she says. “There’s a scene where they teased my hair in knots and added dark makeup under my eyes, and there’s wet under my nose. But I wanted to do that. It’s just part of the character.”

She’s staying busy creating plenty of new ones. Wiig is writing a comedy for Apatow and a dark drama for herself. On Sept. 29, she starts her third season on SNL. But until then, she’s visiting her mother upstate and hanging out in Manhattan with her boyfriend, whom she declines to discuss in detail.

“I like to go get beer and nachos with my boyfriend,” she says. “I’m not a big club-party-scene person.”

She’s not a constant cut-up, either. She’s sort of the anti-Robin Williams, a quiet and self-effacing actress who doesn’t crack non-stop jokes or careen from one impersonation to another. Which means most people, when they meet her, have no idea she’s that woman from SNL.

“If you didn’t know what I did, you’d be surprised to know that I do comedy. I always think people are disappointed, like they thought I’d make some jokes,” she says. “But that’s not who I am.”