Chatting With the Bridesmaids
When you need a friend, these ladies are there … Glam had the opportunity to chat with the ultimate gal-pals, the ladies of Bridesmaids. They touched on diva brides, giant cookies, and even coined the term “uteromance.”
What was the inspiration for this film?What made you want to write it?
After I did Knocked Up, Judd [Apatow] asked me if I wanted to write something, and he was like: “Do it yourself or write it with a friend.” And I asked Annie [Mumolo] if she wanted to work on it with me. It was Annie's seedling of an idea … I’ve always said that if you ask most women the three most important things in her life — at least one or two will be her friends. And we wanted to write about female friendship and how they change through the years. You have your work friends and your college friends and sometimes when they all get together it can be a little weird.
What was the biggest challenge in writing this script?
We had a really hard time writing the third act of the movie… We had a musical number in there in one scene. There was a fantasy sequence where I ran into the woods and Christian Bale was there chopping wood, and he says “Quick get into my muscles.”
The women in the film all seem like best friends – there’s an amazing chemistry. Was that immediate?
I had worked with Maya, Melissa, and Wendy before. Ellie and Rose just fit right in instantly. It was like we had all known each other for years … Part of being a good improviser is knowing when you’ve said your thing and letting the other person do her thing.
There’s an amazing scene where you character flips out and attacks a giant cookie. How fun was that? How many takes did you have to do?
First we had to find out how many dresses I had. I think we had four. We also had to choreograph what could be ruined — like we only had one Eiffel Tower cake to use.
People have called this movie the “female Hangover.” What do you think of that reaction?
It's a huge compliment. I do get the comparison because it’s an ensemble comedy that happens before a wedding, but the plots are ultimately quite different.
You play the grown-up mean girl. What was your first impression of Helen?
When I was auditioning, I said to my agent “I’d love to go for Lillian, but do you think they’d let me read for Helen?” She’s as dysfunctional as Annie in many ways and vulnerable. I think you get that by the end.
Are you interested in pursuing comedy?
My favorite films are generally comedies, so it’s something I definitely wanted to try. Other than this film and Get Him to the Greek, it’s still very much a challenge to me.
What was it like for you jumping into this group of comedians and learning to improvise?
I watched how they all worked. All the girls would come in so prepared with lots of different ideas and versions of things. They tried again and again. They really did their homework.
Did you ever have any particularly good or bad experiences with a bridesmaid dress in real life?
I had a girlfriend who said just: “Go and buy this material.” But we were able to make our own dresses individually.
Your character is the ultimate hostess. Do you like planning parties too?
I couldn’t even throw a party to save my life. It’s my biggest nightmare. I draw the line at one guest.
How did it feel working with such a powerful and strong group of female comedians?
It’s about time. These girls don’t have any vanity. Nobody’s worried about being the butt of the joke. It’s like: “Please let me be the butt of the joke. Is this going to be embarrassing and gross? Alright, what time should I be there.” So many of us come from the Groundlings, and the competition there is 'who can look the ugliest?' And Ellie and Rose — they just chimed right in. They didn’t miss a step. It was instant family. And there’s no overlap in our characters, so there was no competition to get in your zinger — because no one could say what your character would say. It was all very fair and balanced.
Any advice for real-life bridesmaids?
Before you say yes, state your boundaries. “This is what I'm willing to do; this is what I'm not what I’m willing to do.” Keep the friendship. And don’t go on all these girl-scout activities … I think the stress of putting on the biggest party you’re ever going to throw and starting your new life — those two things don’t go well together. It’s too much stress. You’re trying to throw this big day that everyone’s going to remember, but you’re also trying to start your new life. Those two things really don’t go well together.
Did you ever have any 'bridesmaidzilla' or 'brideszilla' moments? Or, it not, do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
I made a rule that I didn’t want to be introduced to anyone at my wedding — especially because so many people from the Groundlings came. I said to half those guys: “I know you’re not dating someone, so don’t bring some rando girl to my wedding.”
Your character is hilarious and so over the top? Where did you find your inspiration?
Annie and Kristen wrote a fantastic script with these strange fully-formed women, and Meagan was the relative that you kind of have to invite. But the character was already there. I just got lucky that they let me incorporate my love of the Midwest eccentric no-nonsense woman. I have a real affinity for those women.
What was it like working with this fabulous group of women?
It was a group that worked like a charm. It was a real delight to come to work everyday. We laughed for twelve hours.
What was it like reuniting with Kristen Wiig? Was the chemistry there immediately?
There was a lot of great stuff in the beginning. The diner scene worked because it was the first day shooting, so we were trying to figure out who these characters were. As far as the friend part – Kristen is a person I like laughing with — that element was nice to have in place. We knew we could bring [our existing friendship] to the table.
Were there any scenes in the movie you were disappointed didn't make the final cut?
I'm sad you don't get to see all the dates Annie went on. There was fantastic date scene with Paul Rudd. I'm hoping the DVD will be enormous.
What’s your experience with bridesmaid dresses? Any advice for brides picking these often controversial dresses?
It's got to fit everyone's body type. I like when they give you a color scheme — and it's like: “Okay everyone is wearing beige.”
A lot of comedies are geared toward men and written by men. The industry is dominated by men. What's it like to be in a movie about women, starring women, and written by women?
I find it strange that we talk about this. The movie is funny because it feels funny and is real. Annie and Kristen weren’t pioneer women who were like: “We’re going to write this comedy, and it’s going to be like something nobody has ever seen before.” … Someone said that Bridesmaids was a “Sisromance.” I said it was a “Uteromance.”