Kristen Wiig’s new raunchy and ruckus comedy Bridesmaids opened to an “impressive $24.4 million start” this weekend. If you weren’t one of the moviegoers who had the pleasure of seeing this film, take a moment to read our official review of Bridesmaids.
If you have seen the film, or are still making up your mind, we offer a window into the experience of making this fresh and funny comedy experience. Behold the following, wherein the cast and creators of the Bridesmaids discuss being rejected by Kermit the Frog, the hilarious “line-o-ramas” you can look forward to seeing in the DVD features, and the comically absurd fantasy sequence that never made it off the page (and we’re not even talking about the Vegas sequence we discussed in our interview with co-writer Annie Mumolo).
As we discussed in our Boys of Bridesmaids piece, we had the chance to speak with the cast and creators of Bridesmaids during select roundtable interviews at the Los Angeles press day for the film. The talent present included: Producer Judd Apatow; director Paul Feig; co-writer/star Kristen Wiig (Annie, the maid-of-honor) ; co-writer Annie Mumolo; and cast-members Maya Rudolph (Lillian, the Bride), Rose Byrne (Helen, the usurper), Ellie Kemper (Becca, the newlywed), Wendi McLendon-Covey (the harassed wife and mother-of-three boys), and Melissa McCarthy (Megan, the eccentric sister-in-law).
Bridesmaids was born out of a desire that producer Judd Apatow had to work with Kristen Wiig in a deeper capacity, after she completely knocked it out of the ballpark with her performance as “Jill” (the passive aggressive co-worker that we all love to…well, love) in Knocked Up.
Wiig “immediately called Annie (Mumolo)” when Apatow approached her with the suggestion that she write her own film. Mumolo, who had been a bridesmaid several times over the course of two years was (in part) drawing from the well of personal experience with her work on the script.
Take a look at the Bridesmaids trailer below for a snapshot of at all that can go awry in the chaos that precedes nuptials, and then hear from the Bridesmaids team on how to avoid said chaos in your own life.
The Team’s Advice On Surviving Pre-Wedded Bliss
When the filmmakers were asked what advice they would give to real wedding party participants in the hopes of achieving a drama-free affair.
Maya Rudolph laughingly quipped, “I love that people think that were professionals now.”
Mumolo covered the practical with, “Hold on to your pocketbooks.”
Kristen Wiig addressed the emotional stress with, “If aren’t getting along with bridesmaids, don’t tell the bride.”
Paul Feig (half) jokingly gave the male perspectiveing saying, “For guys: marry a woman who has already been divorced because she won’t care as much about the wedding – that’s what I did.”
Wendi McLendon-Covey provided the sage advice that all interested parties, “State their boundaries by saying, ‘This is what I am willing to do, this is what I am willing to spend, and if that’s not going to work, lets forget it and keep the friendship.’” She went on to say that she feels the reason that things become so heightened and intense around a wedding is due to the fact that, “The stress of putting on the biggest party your ever gonna throw, and starting your new life does not go that well together.” As far as the members of the wedding party are concerned, Covey feels that it is natural to have some feelings of resentment: “If your life is falling apart and you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, you’re looking at your friend thinking ‘my life is falling apart, and look at all her new kitchen stuff.’”
The women in the cast also ultimately sense that some people are simply better-suited to put together a spectacular bash without incident.
“I’m so opposite of character (little Miss Perfect herself, Helen),” Rose Byrne mused. “I couldn’t throw a party to save my life. My idea of a nightmare is having more than one person over my house – I draw the line at one.”
Is Working With A Cast Of Women Like Living a Soap Opera?
In the film, the women experience deep conflict with one another, but their working relationships on-set were harmonious and thoroughly supportive. Director Paul Feig recalled that:
“It’s this terrible thing that happens, but going into this people were like, ‘Oh get ready, your gonna be working with a bunch of women…’(laughing) I think they thought it was going to be like “Knots Landing” or something. But they were so supportive, and it was just a joy to watch them work for me. Especially when Kristen and Maya would be just hanging out around waiting for us to set up a shot, I would kind of listen and be like, ‘do that funny voice that you were just doing!’ Because they have this language, and putting all that in front of the camera was so much fun.”
Feig continued by saying that part of what drew him to the project was the opportunity to depict women, and their humor, as he has experienced them in his own life.
“I know so many funny women, have been such a huge fan of Kristen’s, and growing up I knew so many women that were hilarious; and I wondered why I wasn’t seeing that reflected up on screen. It’s like why do they always have to be the long suffering girlfriend…?”
“Or the crazy neighbor?” Wiig chimed in.
“My favorite is like the guy who has to save the world and the wife is like ‘you’re never home for the kids’ like boooo her.” Feig continued.
Melissa McCarthy agreed that it is rare to see, “Six fully developed (female) characters. Six women is usually like, ‘your the biach, your the crazy one, and it just doesn’t go beyond that. It stays in that shallow end of the pool. So, (this) was crazy fun.”
“No one is worried about being the butt of the joke,” McLendon-Covey added. “It’s like, ‘please let me be the butt of the joke – are we going to do something ugly? is this going to be embarrassing and gross? All right, what time should I be there?’ There was no overlap with characters, so no one is worried about getting in their zingers in because no one can say what your character would say.”
As to what the characters would say, with a team of some of the world’s most talented and adept improvisational actors, there is nearly two extra films’ worth of material that has been cut from the theatrical release. The first full cut of the movie was three hours in length. Ultimately, story and character always took precedence over a funny bit or joke.
As such, Feig explained that the DVD features, will reveal just “how brilliant these women really are,” with a series of “linoramas” that highlight the level of improvisational comedy these women are operating at.
“Wendi is so funny that when you see her stuff strung together…” Feig laughed to himself in appriciation and continued, “There’s this run about how bad her house smells, it’s some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Take a look at the clip of Covey below to get a sense of what she was able to bring to the character.