Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a pair of estranged siblings who are reconnected at a particularly dark moment for both in the Sundance drama The Skeleton Twins. And, when a depressed Milo (Hader) leaves Los Angeles to live with a similarly depressed Maggie (Wiig) and her earnest, goofy husband (Luke Wilson), it’s not exactly a seamless homecoming, with fights, lies, and past traumas weighing on the once-inseparable twins throughout.
But writer-director Craig Johnson didn’t cast two of today’s most likable comedians to just destroy them with melodrama. There are moments of pure joy, too, including a standout sequence, teased in the trailer, where Milo and Maggie break into a cheesy ’80s classic to ease a particularly tense moment. As Owen Gleiberman wrote after the film’s Sundance premiere, “This is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives.”
EW spoke to Johnson about directing Hader and Wiig and how that whole Starship sequence came together.