The Untold Truth Of Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is no shrinking violet. The Saturday Night Live alum and powerhouse funny woman is equal parts fearless feminist and girl next door. And despite her refreshingly humble outlook, Wiig is a Hollywood heavy hitter with the credits to prove it.


After just two years making her mark on SNL, Wiig garnered attention — and belly laughs — with her portrayal of a passive-aggressive television executive in Judd Apatow's 2007 comedy Knocked UpIn 2011, Wiig was catapulted into super stardom with the premiere of her mega-hit Bridesmaids. Not only did she earn a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Annie, a down-on-her-luck maid-of-honor who can't keep up with the social and financial demands of her best friend's wedding, but she and writing partner Annie Mumolo also scored an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay. Wiig and Mumolo later teamed up again to co-write and co-star in Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter


What else does the actress, improv artist, and writer have up her sleeve, and how did Wiig get to be such a big name in Hollywood? This is the untold truth of Kristen Wiig.

Kristen Wiig considers herself to be shy

With her penchant for creating zany characters, one would think Kristen Wiig is the ultimate exhibitionist. But it turns out that her life-of-the-party persona is an on-screen facade and a testament to her acting ability. 


"I never considered myself to be funny — maybe because socially I can be a little shy sometimes. I just didn't think that you could be both," she told Interview magazine.

She also admitted in that same interview that she was nervous to do Saturday Night Live's famous "Weekend Update" because she couldn't hide in a group-sketch setting. She also noted that she would rather be behind a fictional personality than be in the spotlight just as herself. "I enjoy being characters rather than myself. If I had to get up and talk in front of a group of people just as myself, I would be terrified... But if I'm on stage in front of hundreds of people and I am a character doing a monologue, I'm totally fine."


Kristen Wiig was a rebel in high school

The daughter of an artist and a lake-marina manager, Kristen Wiig was born in Canandaigua, N.Y., on Aug. 22, 1973, according to her IMDb bio. She was 9 years old when her parents got divorced, and she later moved to Rochester, N.Y. with her mother and older brother Erik, according to Women's Health.


It was there that she found herself navigating some rocky teenage territory. "I probably lived more of a rock-star life when I was 15," she told Interview magazine. "I got in trouble a fair amount. I cared more about hanging out and skipping school than studying." She added," I definitely ran with a pack of hoodlums, that's for sure."

According to The Guardian, Wiig's rebellious adolescent stage also included underage drinking at a Grateful Dead concert and smashing potted plants on a neighbor's porch. "There were suspensions," Wiig said, noting, "That's the past."

Kristen Wiig was an art major in college with no acting aspirations

According to The New York Times, Kristen Wiig was an art major at the University of Arizona in Tucson. To fulfill a requirement, she took a theater-performance class, and, though initially terrified by it, she really enjoyed the course. And, thanks to an encouraging professor, Wiig decided to pursue her newfound passion.


With a year left in college, she dropped out and moved to Los Angeles — unbeknownst to her parents. "Of course, when I got there, I was like, what am I doing?" she recalled during an interview with The New York Times. "I have no experience, and all the women here are models." She enrolled in an acting class. She explained to the paper, "It was one of those very Method classes where you have to sit for an hour with your eyes closed and pretend you're drinking, like, hot soup." Suffice to say, it wasn't her thing.

Luckily, Wiig found her place with the Groundlings, an improvisation program that boasts alumni like Will Ferrell and Maya Rudolph, as noted by the theater. She started taking classes, and Wiig eventually snagged a spot in the coveted Sunday Company.


Kristen Wiig had a lot of odd jobs before she found fame

While she had plenty of talent and ambition, Kristen Wiig couldn't survive on wit and will alone. In her early 20s, the budding funny woman bounced from odd job to even odder job. According to The New York Times, she worked at Anthropologie, dabbled in floral design, and even manned a hotdog cart.


Perhaps the weirdest gig she was hired to do is one she never had the opportunity to start. Right before her fortuitous move to Los Angeles, Wiig was supposed to sketch patients' before and after pictures for a plastic surgery practice, as noted by Fortunately, she had a moment of self-realization the day before her job was slated to begin. She told Women's Health that she packed her Jetta and left for the West Coast.

Like many up-and-coming comedians, she had to find a way to pay the bills. She recounted waiting tables at the Universal Pictures commissary during an interview with the Los Angeles Times: "A couple times I've seen executives and I'm like, 'How do I know you? Oh, I used to give you Cobb salad and Arnold Palmers, and I had a tie and khaki pants on."


Kristen Wiig's famous Target Lady character on SNL was inspired by an actual Target lady

Kristen Wiig made her Saturday Night Live debut in 2005, after surviving an intimidating audition for a panel that included Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey, according to The Guardian. She told NPR it was "the most terrifying thing [she'd] ever done." She explained, "Because I knew it would just be me on stage for five minutes, and they were very clear that you had five minutes. And I bought [a] stopwatch when I got to New York so I could time my audition. Because I was afraid that a big curtain was going to fall down or something in five minutes."


Throughout her tenure on the show, she developed many characters. One of her most beloved ones was Target Lady, an overzealous retail worker. "I liked how happy she was about pretty much everything," she told NPR. "I was actually in a Target... and the woman who was at the register, she just said something in a voice that struck me. She didn't do the things that the Target Lady does. ... I kind of embellished a lot."

Kristen Wiig is a yoga-loving vegetarian

In 2008, Kristen Wiig told Women's Health that, as a vegetarian, she eats plenty of tofu and soy, drinks a lot of water, and is "addicted to cranberry juice." She allows herself a weekly cheat day and eats whatever she wants. "It's good, because it helps you stay on track the rest of the week. In the beginning, I ate anything I could see. But it's funny: The more you do it, the less you end up splurging," she said. She told the magazine that when she does feel the urge to treat herself, she'll turn to dark chocolate peanut M&Ms and lemon cupcakes from Buttercup Bake Shop in New York City.


Health-conscious and wellness-aware, Wiig also told Women's Health that she is a yoga enthusiast. During her time on Saturday Night Live, she'd take private classes with friends and squeeze in cardio sessions with runs in Central Park and along the Hudson River.

Kristen Wiig said this Bridesmaids scene with Jon Hamm was super awkward

Most celebrities will tell you that filming an intimate scene is less toe-curling hot and more body-cringing uncomfortable. Kristen Wiig admitted that filming her over-the-top scene in bed with Mad Men's Jon Hamm in Bridesmaids was awkward to say the least — mostly because of their friendship. "[He] is like my brother," she told Access Hollywood in 2011. She shared, "I remember, it was our last day of shooting and I mean, it's so silly. ... We're like, 'How else can he throw me around?'"


That multi-position scene took an eyebrow-raising 12 hours to film, according to Access. Hamm, who wore little more than a loin cloth, was equally embarrassed. "It's not a lot of fun rolling around in front of 30 or 40 crew members in a flesh-colored thong... But we did have a lot of fun. We had a lot of jokes and a lot of laughs, and I'm sure a lot of that will end up on the DVD somewhere," he told Access.

Fortunately, their racy movie romp didn't create a rift in their working relationship. Shortly after Bridesmaids, Wiig and Hamm engaged in more on-screen shenanigans in Friends With Kids.

Kristen Wiig's in-character appearances on The Tonight Show are all improvised

Kristen Wiig has been on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon multiple times, but usually not as herself. Instead, she has hilariously appeared in-character as Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Harry Styles, JoJo from The Bachelorette, and Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, as noted on her IMDb page.


As if her unfaltering commitment to these spontaneous roles isn't impressive enough, better still is the fact that these bogus interviews are totally improvised. In 2017, she told Esquire that she arrives at the show 15 minutes early to find the costume they've provided. "There's no reason to be nervous because you don't have anything you have to say, and it really forces you to be in the moment," she shared.

When Wiig finally appeared on the show as herself, Fallon challenged Wiig to share one of her famous old-time cocktail recipes, and, without missing a beat, she flexed those improv muscles and invented the ingredients needed to whip up a Sea Cloud: salt water from the ocean, three half oranges, rum, and milk, "served lukewarm."


Kristen Wiig felt her sharpest when she was on SNL

It's no secret that Saturday Night Live breeds a culture of competition and one-upmanship. And while many of the comedic stars and writers seem to thrive in this collaborative but cutthroat environment, it certainly comes with its fair share of negative consequences, such as sleep deprivation and stress, for starters.


After nearly seven years of bringing her quirky characters to life on the show, Kristen Wiig made her final cast-member appearance on Saturday Night Live on May 19, 2012, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Not long after, in an interview with The Guardian, she admitted she missed the creative energy and pulse-quickening spontaneity of it all. "It's like your brain is in the best shape ever — and then when you leave, you feel a little like your mind is slowly dulling, because you're not having to fix things and solve puzzles and create on a minute-to-minute basis."

Still, saying goodbye to Saturday Night Live had an upside. "I do have more time, I'm getting a little more sleep and I see daylight more for sure," she told The Guardian.


What Kristen Wiig would do if she didn't act

Former Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig is well-rounded in her life outside of the bustling entertainment industry. When asked what she would do for a living if she could no longer act, she told Esquire that she would like to shadow a whole bunch of different people and keep her job options open. "Maybe I would do kayak or canoe tours. I'd be like, 'There's some bushes over there,'" Wiig said.


To the magazine, she continued, "You always have these fantasies of yourself, like, living a different life. Like being in a tiny apartment in some tiny town in France and just painting. I would love to do some weird art installation somewhere. I play the ukulele, and I would love to do that more and maybe do an album." She added that she'd like to "escape" and try her hand in another field.

Kristen Wiig once gave a lock of her own hair to this pop star

When Katy Perry tweeted that she wanted a lock of Kristen Wiig's hair in 2010, the Saturday Night Live star was happy to oblige. And so in honor of Perry's first SNL hosting gig, Wiig gave the pop star a friendly card and a few strands of hair off her head wrapped neatly with a bow. Perry assumed it was fake, but the comedian confirmed during a Q&A session with Perry for Interview magazine that the strands were genuine Wiig (as opposed to a genuine wig).


Incidentally, despite the catalyst for this rather odd exchange being a single tweet from Perry, Wiig has zero presence on social media. In fact, at the time of this writing, her official website is just a page holder featuring a sketch of her face, links to her talent agency and PR firm, and a definitive statement about her official social media pages or, rather, lack thereof.

Kristen Wiig doesn't consider herself a comedian

While her tenure on Saturday Night Live and her early big-screen gigs proved she had comedic chops, Kristen Wiig won't be defined by a certain type of role, and she has done her part to prove herself to be a versatile performer. She explored her serious side with roles in dramatic films and darker comedies like Welcome to Me, Girl Most Likely, Downsizing, and Where'd You Go Bernadette.


"People always call me a comedian. And I don't really see myself like that," she said in an interview with The Guardian. "I guess I just consider myself an actor who does comedy. But who wants to do other things as well."

A project has to resonate with her, regardless of its genre. She told Esquire, "I love doing drama; I love doing comedy. I like to be challenged — and I don't want to repeat myself. So much of it really is the script and the director. It's kind of a gut feeling: I know pretty early on, usually by page 10 in the script. If I have to think about it too hard, or if I'm wavering, it's usually not something that I feel really drawn to."

Kristen Wiig has been engaged twice

According to TMZ, Kristen Wiig was married to actor Hayes Hargrove from 2005 to 2009. While details surrounding the demise of their relationship are scarce, there's little doubt it left Wiig feeling dubious about marriage as an institution. In 2011, she told Stella magazine she'd likely never wed again (via Us Weekly): "I probably won't ever get married [again]; it's not something that I would want to do." As a female role model, she also wanted to make sure she wasn't sending the wrong message about women and marriage in Bridesmaids. "I think women put that pressure on themselves, maybe even more than society does, but if you're the single girl at the wedding, you know someone is going to ask you when you're going to get married," she shared.


Despite her skepticism, Wiig got engaged to Avi Rothman in 2019, after three years of dating the actor, producer, and director, as confirmed by People. Like Wiig, Rothman is also an alum of the Groundlings and, according to People, a yogi. In fact, he portrays the character Ogden the Inappropriate Yoga Guy on the YouTube series of the same name.

Kristen Wiig got to play naughty and nice in Wonder Woman 1984

In Wonder Woman 1984, Kristen Wiig plays the role of Barbara Minerva. Her character is an archeologist who, according to Entertainment Weekly, becomes obsessed with collecting treasures held by Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot.


Director Patty Jenkins gushed to the audience at CCXP 2019 about Wiig's dynamic performance. "We were super fans of Kristen and we love how funny she is, but also I've been a huge admirer of what a great actress she is for a long time," Jenkins said. "So when we needed someone to go all the way from one end of the spectrum of being funny, sweet Diana's friend, all the way to a totally different place, we knew that Kristen Wiig would kill it. And she went beyond our wildest dreams."

Indeed, Wiig's character makes a drastic transformation in the film becoming Minerva's sexy and villainous alter-ego, Cheetah, as noted by Deadline.

Kristen Wiig secretly became a mom

In January of 2020, Kristen Wiig and her partner, Avi Rothman, welcomed twins via surrogacy. After three years of enduring the highs and lows of IVF — an experience she described in an interview with InStyle as "isolating," Wiig was more than ready to privately settle down with her sweet babies. News didn't break about her role as a mom for a few months — and the timing was fortuitous, as, shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic made quarantining at home necessary.


Still, it wasn't all coos and giggles in the Wiig-Rothman household. The Wonder Woman 1984 actress admitted to InStyle that motherhood is exhausting, saying that raising two babies is "a lot." She elaborated, "I can't wait to see them every morning," noting, "Obviously, some days I get more sleep than others, but it is what it is. And it's frickin' awesome."

Even before she was outed as a twin-mama via an Us Weekly exclusive in June of 2020, Wiig hinted about the life development when hosting Saturday Night Live's Mother's Day episode. In her monologue, she gushed about her own mom, saying, "I'm so thankful for all the things she's taught me, like preparing to be a mom myself" (via People).