SXSW: Kristen Wiig, Simon Pegg, And Paul Feig Talk 'Paul', 'Bridesmaids', 'Star Trek', Everything Else
SXSW screened Paul and Bridesmaids as a double bill because Kristin Wiig is in both and Universal released both. So the stars and filmmakers of both films walked the red carpet in Austin, TX outside the Paramount theater.
In Paul, Kristin Wiig plays Ruth Buggs, a trailer park owner who gets a glimpse at the alien in Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost)’s trailer. With her Christian creationist world shattered, Ruth takes every opportunity to swear along the road. Bridesmaids stars Wiig as a maid of honor in crazy wedding shenanigans.
Q: Did you enjoy playing this silly swearing girl?
Kristen Wiig: No… [pretends to walk away] I’m just kidding. What if I did that? It’d be horrible. Yes, oh my God, it was so nice to have them write a character that had that trait and someone that went through such a crazy transformation after seeing an alien.
Q: Is the reason it’s funny that it’s her first time, this awakening of her?
KW: Yes, first time seeing an alien as opposed to other people who’ve been revisited.
Q: I think it’s her first time swearing, because she was so devoutly religious before.
KW: Oh, first time swearing, yes, because she thought that was sinning and then when she sees the alien, she comes to the conclusion: well, maybe if there’s an alien, there’s no god and there’s no sinning, I can do whatever I want.
Q: What will we see in Bridesmaids?
KW: There’s no aliens that I can tell you about. I’m really excited. Judd Apatow produced it and Paul Feig directed it. I co-wrote it with my friend Annie. There’s a lot of funny ladies in it.
Q: When you’re writing a character for yourself, what sort of vehicle do you want to create?
KW: I tried not to think of myself playing it so much when we wrote it because I didn’t want to cloud how I was writing the character that much. I just wanted to write something that made sense and had a lot of good parts for females.
Q: Do you have a unique take on the bridesmaid phenomenon?
KW: Well, you’ll have to see the movie.
Simon Pegg plays Graeme, a sci-fi artist and Comic-Con fan who meets the real alien, Paul. He co-wrote the script with Frost and loaded it with references to our favorite mutual sci-fi movies. He was cagey about Mission: Impossible IV which he’s already shot and A World’s End which he’s writing with Edgar Wright, but actually had more to say about Star Trek 2 which doesn’t exist in any form yet.
Q: Are we seeing your comedy grou break up into different combinations, like we saw the Pythons do where some of them did A Fish Called Wanda but not the whole troupe?
Simon Pegg: Yeah, I guess. I don’t know what our comedy team is. The Pythons were a unit that came out of a comedy troupe from university whereas we’ve all met at different times. I think we can probably split up with less obviousness. Nick and I have worked together a lot because we’re best mates and probably will continue to do so because it’s a way we can hang out. But I really want to work with people like Kristin and Bill [Hader] and Jason [Bateman] and those guys. I love them so it’s a treat to be able to.
Q: But you, Nick and Edgar are a group.
SP: Well, Edgar had developed Scott Pilgrim and we knew that we wouldn’t be doing that with him because it was a separate project. Paul was a separate project from Edgar so we always were going to go off and do our own little side projects and come back together again.
Q: What is the obsession with a three breasted woman?
SP: It’s just one more, isn’t it, than you should have. I think it’s one of those sort of slightly lame sort of sci-fi clichés, that guys would think one more would be somehow better than too. It’s odd.
Q: Even in Total Recall he said he wished he had three hands. But we don’t.
SP: I think Jo LoTruglio says, “You should’ve given her four” which then becomes, I say, sick.
Q: I love that you were so decisive about it.
SP: Well, then you become some sort of wolfmother. It’s just weird. Three’s good, four is terrible. It’s the old saying, isn’t it?
Q: We do love the collaborations between you, Nick and Edgar. Is A World’s End your take on the apocalypse genre?
SP: No, it’s nothing yet. It’s just a title that we’ve thrown out there to shut people up.
Q: When do you actually get to start working on that?
SP: Hopefully in the next couple of months we’ll start writing it. It’s just a question of getting together.
Q: Do you get cool stuff to do in Mission: Impossible IV?
SP: Yes, I do. That’s all I can say.
Q: Obviously Scotty was the last one to join the crew in Star Trek. Obviously you don’t know what the next script will be yet but are you excited to be there from the beginning?
SP: Absolutely. I can’t wait. It’s a great crew. We all got on very well and I can’t wait to get back into that thing of getting to know each other. I think they’ll pick up the story from where we left off and we’ve all only just met so there’s a lot of mileage I would imagine dramatically in us all sort of getting to know each other.
Paul Feig was a regular director on “Arrested Development” and he still does major TV shows like “Nurse Jackie” and “The Office.” Bridesmaids is his second movie, and he’s technically not done making it yet.
Q: What are we going to get to see tonight in Bridesmaids?
Paul Feig: You’re going to see everything. They’re calling it a work in progress but really it’s all locked. It’s just we haven’t done the sound mix or the color timing on it yet but it’s a big funny comedy that’s about women but is not just for women. We really worked hard to just make it funny for everybody but it’s a very grounded emotional story about a woman whose life is falling apart. This event just speeds that along but it allows her to rebuild herself to a better place.
Q: A lot of wedding movies are about “this is all crazy, but you should still do it everyone, everyone still have big weddings.” What’s the worldview of your movie?
PF: For us, honestly the wedding is just a conduit to tell the story of a woman who’s having problems with her best friend. It’s much less about the wedding and more about how important your friends are to you. The wedding allows it to be the ticking clock that moves it forward but at the end of the day, it’s really about friendship.
Q: What will be the standout comic set pieces?
PF: Oh, you will definitely be talking about the dress shop, I guarantee you that. You’ll be talking about the airplane, I guarantee you that and about Annie trying to get the cop’s attention at the end of the movie.
Q: Do you have a great trying on dresses montage?
PF: Well, we do but we’ve subverted it a little bit so you’ll go into it thinking you know what’s going to happen and then you will be very pleasantly surprised.
Q: Will Julia Roberts be pissed at you?
PF: That’s my goal. That is my goal. Hopefully she will say, “Yes, ah, why didn’t I think of that?”
Paul is in theaters now. Bridesmaids hits May 13.