Kristen Wiig, Judd Apatow and Co. Offer 9 Things You Didn't Know About Bridesmaids
For the first time since Bridesmaids premiered this past spring, the comedy's filmmakers and cast gathered last night in Hollywood for a special Screen Actors Guild Awards screening of their surprise box office smash. Afterward, Judd Apatow (who executive produced the film) moderated a Q&A panel comprised of director Paul Feig, stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy and Wendi McLendon-Covey as well as Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote the screenplay with Wiig. What transpired was an entertaining discussion about the movie "that changed female comedy." The most exciting revelations follow.
1. Many of Kristen Wiig's onscreen trials and tribulations are based on the real-life experiences of co-writer Mumolo -- including the P.O.S. car.
Mumolo: I did drive that car except mine had the two rearview mirrors hanging off the side and one was sort of duct-taped on. That was my car.
Wiig: Annie was a bridesmaid, I think, seven times in two years. She's really popular.
Mumolo: Not anymore. But yeah, I was a bridesmaid seven times. One time, two [weddings] at once. I had the experience of watching all of your friends working it out and doing it but not doing it yourself in any way, shape or form. [I remember] going to these fancy engagement parties and coming back to my apartment and having to crawl through the window because the door swells with the weather. You'd have to pull out the air conditioner and climb in -- with all of these fancy party favors. Stuff like that.
2. Wendi based her character on horrible moms everywhere -- including the ones on Bravo.
Apatow: You fake hatred for kids well.
McLendon-Covey: That's because so many people I meet and eavesdrop on -- that's one of my special skills on my resume -- talk so badly about their kids. It's just horrifying. You think, "Okay, well someone's going to kill you in your sleep." The Real Housewives of Orange County -- I take a lot of material from them because those bitches just cannot be placated. They cannot be happy about anything. They're all rich. They have perfectly nice husbands and they just hate every minute of it."
3. Rose Byrne had little to no actual bridesmaid experience when she joined this movie.
McLendon-Covey: Poor Rose. She's from Australia and they don't do this in Australia. They don't have bridal showers and all of this stuff. She was like, "What are you talking about? I don't know what that is." But she sure picked up on it.
4. All onscreen defecation was real. (Just kidding)
Apatow: [Joking] But you did actually poop on the street. Because you're method, like De Niro.
Rudolph: That was real everybody.
Apatow: Melissa too. All real.
McCarthy: It was important for me to make that realistic.
5. At one point, Melissa McCarthy's character was supposed to be even crazier.
Wiig: We didn't want to make [Megan] too crazy. At one point I remember we were like, "Should she only dress in rockabilly [clothing]?"
McCarthy: I actually had a four-hour fitting for a rockabilly wardrobe, which was really unflattering.
Feig: We should publish those pictures because I've never seen you look less happy.
Wiig: A lot of black bowling shirts with flames. Caring so much about the character, it was that we wanted her to look a certain way but be feminine. [...] She could have really long fingernails and wear a pearl necklace but also have a carpal tunnel wrist brace on her arm...
Feig: ...that is never explained.
6. Ellie Kemper cannot lie about a bad haircut.
Wiig: [to McCarthy] Remember you had that [very short] wig on and Ellie, who is the most polite person in the world, thought you had cut your hair.
McCarthy: I was in the trailer and Ellie is kind of exactly like she seems in the movie -- but smarter, greater and not as crazy. I came in and Ellie [saw my hair] and said [in spot-on Ellie Kemper impression], "Oh! Hi! Look what you did!" I just let her hang. I had a random conversation about traffic because I could tell in her head, she was like "Ohhhhh."
Finally, I said, "You know it's a wig, right?" And said "Oh! Oh! God."
7. The dress fitting scene laden with bathroom humor was not Kristen Wiig's idea.
Wiig: Judd and Paul threw it out when we were doing a lot of rewrites. You want to have really funny things in the movie but the most important thing is the story. We had to figure out how my character messes up again and again and slowly drives Lillian insane. We had a whole other scene that was in there for awhile and we really needed to up the stakes. Judd said, "You know, they go to a restaurant before [the dress fitting]. Maybe it's a really bad restaurant and something happens." Initially, Annie and I were like, "Uh, so there is going to be throwing up and shit? OK." But to Paul and Judd's credit, it was done in a very nurturing way. They said, "Write your version. If it works, it works." So Annie and I sat down and wrote..."and then Megan gets up on the sink."
8. Speaking of the disastrous sink incident, Melissa McCarthy had to do an official jump test before shooting.
McCarthy: I kept thinking [the sink sequence] will probably go away before we shoot. Then there was the moment where they said, "We need you to come and do a jump test to see if the sink is the right height." The crew guys who had not read the script were looking around like, "What the hell is about to happen?" It was about two hours. They would say, "You're pretty short and a regular vanity would come up to about here." I was like, "Why am I having this conversation about my jumping ability!?"
Feig: There were some seriously technical discussions about shitting in a sink.
9. Megan and Air Marshall Jon are married in real life.
McCarthy: My favorite scene [to shoot] was the plane. Kristen kept coming through the [first class curtains] with a completely different character -- all so funny. At one point, we had to realize that we couldn't just be laughing through the takes. And also because I got to work with my husband.
Feig: For those of you who don't know, Air Marshall Jon is Melissa's real-life husband. Ben Falcone, SAG member. He's vested!
[Photo: Getty Images]
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