Kristen Wiig and Paul Feig chat 'Bridesmaids' at TimesTalks event

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Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leave it to the director and star of 2011’s hit Bridesmaids to make a comedic entrance to their panel at the 11th annual New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend. Paul Feig and Kristen Wiig waltzed in carrying glasses of red wine to their chat with moderator Melena Ryzik. The audience noticed their liquid addition to the chat, and the stars quickly decided that they’d turn their talk into a drinking game. The rules were simple: Drink every time someone says a–hole. (Which really meant one of the stars would just say a–hole any time they wanted to take a drink.) Wiig and Feig both talked about the success of the film, but mum’s the word on that much-talked-about sequel. Here are a few more highlights from the night’s event:

On why Bridesmaids was so successful:
Both Wiig and Feig said that the movie was so successful because it is so very relatable. Even though it’s a comedy, they were both very focused on the emotional aspect of the movie to set the tone for the film. “You have to have a real story to tell,” Feig said. “And you have to have a solid emotional based to build the comedy on.”

On the scenes written into the script that never made it into the movie:
Wiig said that in the many script rewrites, they lost several scenes. “Judd [Apatow] was like, ‘This sounds like a completely different movie!'” So what scenes got the axe? “We had a song in there,” Wiig said. And then, Wiig explained a scene where they thought Lillian had died. “We were going to have her run away to a bell tower by the mill, because, you know, people always go to the bell tower by the mill,” Wiig said. On the way they were going to discover a dead body of a woman who looked like Lillian. “But it wasn’t actually her, so they just left the dead body,” Wiig laughs.

On making a successful R-rated film:
“We made sure to always do a PG-13 version. We didn’t know if the swearing and R-rated stuff was going to work,” said Feig. “But some of the swearing came up naturally. And that’s what we ended up with.”

On how Kristen bonded with the female cast:
Wiig and writing partner, Annie Mumolo, rented a party bus and took all the ladies to a male strip club. “It was a very long night,” Wiig remembers. “And we’ve been best friends ever since.” Wiig also said that they bought Rose Byrne a lap dance, even thought it made her incredibly uncomfortable: “We overheard her talking about traffic!”

A version of the script had the ladies actually making it to Vegas for the bachelorette party:
There was a Vegas strip club scene, but they took it out. Feig said he wanted to utilize Wiig’s physical comedy, which is how they ended up with the scene where Wiig’s character gets drunk on the plane. “I wish that scene could have been 40 minutes long,” Feig said. “Kristen was so funny.”

A little love for Steve Carell:
“Comedy is supposed to be effortless, even though a lot of effort goes in to make it look that way…. That’s why Steve Carell never won an Emmy,” Feig said. “He’s so effortless people thought he was always like that.” Wiig was quick to add, “But really, he’s a genius.”

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Read More:
Could a Bridesmaids sequel be in the works without Kristen Wiig?
‘Bridesmaids’: Kristen Wiig and co-stars talk deleted scenes, ideas for the sequel
‘Bridesmaids’ co-writer Annie Mumolo on the airplane scene that took off with audiences


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