Though she didn’t set out to do comedy until she was in her twenties, Kristen Wiig began experimenting with alternate personas at an early age. "I used to carry my dad's empty guitar case around the neighborhood because I wanted people to think I played the guitar,” she said. “I would put Flintstones vitamins in it in case so if I got tired, I could pop some and keep walking."
Post Graduate Work
After earning a degree in art from the University of Arizona, Wiig got hired at a plastic surgery clinic. Her job? To make drawings of clients' post-surgery bodies. The day before she was to start, Kristen looked at her reflection in the mirror and said to herself, “’OK, if you could do anything, what would it be?' And I thought, 'I would move to L.A. Just try to act.’ The next day, the Jetta was packed and I was gone, freaking out the whole way." At that point, she had taken exactly one acting class.
Before the Break
In Los Angeles, Kristen babysat, did floral design, waitressed, catered, sold peaches at a farmers’ market, and hotdogs at a mall. She also worked at Universal Studios where she played a television reporter. It was her job to bring people in to watch the X-Men live show by shouting into her microphone, “There are mutants on the loose!” All the while she studied acting, auditioned for parts, and performed at the Groundlings. This lead to her audition and hire on Saturday Night Live.
What a Character
Within two years of being on SNL, Wiig established a reputation as the hardest-working comedian on the show. She appeared in more sketches per episode than any other cast member with her regular characters such as surely movie reviewer Aunt Linda, chronic one-upper Penelope, and stage actress/perennial game show spoiler, Mindy Grayson. Says Kristen, “I just always gravitate toward the kind of characters or people that maybe you don’t want to talk to for a long time at a party, but you do like to watch what they’re doing.”
In 2011, Kristen starred in the film Bridesmaids, which she co-wrote with fellow Groundlings performer Annie Mumolo. Bridesmaids received numerous accolades including a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. Now that she has graduated from SNL, Wiig will next be seen in Imogene, a movie about a playwright who attempts suicide to win back her ex. Other upcoming films include a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Freezing People Is Easy, and The Comedian with Robert De Niro.
1. Tom Allen
2. Chris Floyd