“There's definitely a difference with men and women in comedy. If you wrote a list of the last 20 comedies in the past four years, a lot of them are based on a male character. That's just kind of way that it is. There are some movies that break the mold, but for the most part women in comedies play that lesser role. I think that's changing and I think that's great thing. There are so many funny women out there.” Kristen Wiig
Making her television debut on the first season of “The Joe Schmo Show,” a reality TV show parody that aired on the American cable network Spike TV, American comedian, actress and impressionist Kristen Wiig rose to fame as part of the weekly late night sketch comedy and variety show “Saturday Night Live,” an esteemed gig she has held since 2005. A veteran of the Groundlings, she became a fan favorite thanks to her impressions of actresses such as Drew Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn and her popular recurring characters like Penelope and a Target cashier.
Debuting on the big screen with “Life, Death and Mini-Golf” (2004), Wiig's film career grew significantly after she joined “SNL.” She is perhaps best known for playing Jill in the successful comedy “Knocked Up” (2007), from comedy mastermind Judd Apatow. Other film credits include “The Brothers Solomon” (2007, with Will Forte), “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007, with John C. Reilly), “Semi-Pro” (2008, with Will Ferrell), “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008, with Jason Segel), Ghost Town” (2008, with Ricky Gervais), “Pretty Bird” (2008, with Paul Giamatti and Billy Crudup) and “Adventureland” (2009, as Bill Hader's wife). As for her upcoming movie projects, Wiig, who was named one of People magazine's “100 Most Beautiful People of 2009,” worked with actress/director Drew Barrymore in “Whip It” (2009), filmmaker Andrew Jarecki in “All Good Things” (2009), actors Jason Bateman in “Extract” (2009) and Mark Wahlberg, James Franco and Steve Carell in “Date Night” (2010). Her voice will be heard in the animated film “Despicable Me” (2010).
Wiig is divorced from actor Hayes Hargrove, whom she married in 2005.
Childhood and Family:
“I was actually born in Canandaigua. It's one of the Finger Lakes. My dad owned the marina on the lake and we lived there until I was about three. Then we moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where we lived until I was in eighth grade. That's when my brother and I moved to Rochester with my mom so I could go to the same private school she and her siblings had gone to. I'd been getting into trouble in Lancaster.” Kristen Wiig
Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973, in Canandaigua, New York. Her family relocated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she was three years old. They then moved to Rochester, New York, where she stayed until she completed high school. After graduating from Rochester's Brighton High School in 1991, she moved to Tucson, Arizona, to study art at the University of Arizona. She landed a job as a graphic artist in a local plastic surgeon's office in New York, but decided to chase an acting career in Los Angeles just two days before she was to report to work.
In 2005, Kristen married actor Hayes Hargrove. They divorced in 2009. Currently residing in New York, Kristen mentions British comedian Ricky Gervais as her idol.
“I can't see myself getting married again. Not because it left a bad taste in my mouth, I just don't know if I believe in it. But who knows? People change their minds all the time. People get married who said they never would and vice versa. I tend not to make any grand statements.” Kristen Wiig
Leaving an opportunity to become a graphic artist in favor of an acting career, Kristen Wiig joined the Los Angeles legendary improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. She recalled, “I studied with The Groundlings for many years and was in the main company there. For me, I think that's how I have developed all of my characters and sort of just becoming that person and just talking about yourself as that character. It's the start of the scene, especially with ‘SNL.’ It's helped immensely.”
Primarily working on the comedy circuit, Wiig was a regular performer in “The Perks,” a featured show at the Empty Stage Comedy Theatre, and remained with the show until it ended in 2000. Her first television gig arrived three years later when she joined the cast of the Spike TV lampoon “The Joe Schmo Show.” Also in 2003, she appeared as an extra in Bob Odenkirk's “Melvin Goes to Dinner.”
Wiig made her television film debut in “June” (2004), a comedy starring Felicia Day. She then received guest spots in “I'm with Her” and “The Drew Carey Show” (both 2004), where she played Kristy and Sandy, respectively. It was also in 2004 that Wiig got her first speaking role in a movie in Randy Kent's “Life, Death and Mini-Golf.”
The gifted comedienne’s luck started to change when she was hired as a featured player on “Saturday Night Live” in 2005. Making her debut performance in the November 12 episode “Jason Lee/Foo Fighters,” she played the wife of Jason Sudeikis in her first sketch, in which Jason Lee played the “Soaking Wet Killer.” By the beginning of the show's 32nd season in 2006, she had been promoted to a full cast member. On “SNL,” Wiig is popular among fans for her recurring roles of a Target cashier, Penelope, Amy Poehler's “Aunt” Linda on Weekend Update, and others, and for impersonating celebrities like Megan Mullally, Drew Barrymore, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Felicity Huffman and Jane Pauley. When asked if she likes watching herself on television, she said, “No, not at all. It's not because I don't like looking at myself. I have a memory of how it went and if I watch it and it's different, I feel like it will traumatize me. Watching film is different than ‘SNL.’ I don't watch ‘SNL’ because it's an ongoing job for me and I don't want to see what other people see. Movies are easier because it's done and I can't go back and change it.”
In 2006, Wiig returned to film by appearing in Rhett Smith's “The Enigma with a Stigma,” starring Michael Naughton. She then offered a small, but memorable, performance as Carole Malone in Paul Feig's “Unaccompanied Minors” (2006), a comedy that received mixed reviews from critics. She also played Lisa Spencer on the MTV comedy series “Home Purchasing Club” (2006).
Wiig's film career took off in 2007. She first played the notable supporting role of Jill in the Judd Apatow blockbuster hit comedy “Knocked Up,” which also featured her “SNL” costar Bill Hader in the supporting role of Brent. She then teamed up with Will Arnett, Will Forte, and Chi McBride for the box office flop “The Brothers Solomon” and was memorable as Edith in the Apatow-produced “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” starring John C. Reilly. She then supported Aaron Eckhart, Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks in “Bill.” The latter two films found Wiig reunited with “SNL” cast members Chris Parnell and Jason Sudeikis, respectively. The actress also made a guest appearance in an episode of “30 Rock” called “Somebody to Love.”
The New York native next appeared as a bear trainer in the Will Ferrell successful basketball comedy “Semi-Pro” (2008), which also starred Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin, Maura Tierney, David Koechner, Will Arnett, Andrew Daly, Andy Richter, Rob Corddry and Matt Walsh. She followed it up with a noticeable appearance as a yoga instructor in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008), another box office hit produced by Judd Apatow, and in the well-received comedy “Ghost Town” (2008), directed by David Koepp. She also played Mandy in the Paul Schneider-directed “Pretty Bird,” alongside Paul Giamatti and Billy Crudup. Still in 2008, she appeared in “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday,” a spinoff of “SNL.”
Recently playing Paulette in Greg Mottola's “Adventureland” (2009), with Jesse Eisenberg, Martin Starr, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Bill Hader, Wiig will play Malice in Wonderland in the based-on-novel “Whip It” (2009), the directing debut from actress Drew Barrymore, and Lauren Fleck in “All Good Things” (2009), a mystery from filmmaker Andrew Jarecki. Among her costars in the latter film are Kirsten Dunst, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Ryan Gosling and Frank Langella. She will also costar with Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck and J.K. Simmons in the Mike Judge upcoming comedy “Extract,” scheduled to have a limited release on September 4, 2009. In addition, Wiig is set to join Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Steve Carell, Ray Liotta, Tina Fey and Mark Ruffalo in Shawn Levy's “Date Night” and lend her vocals to the animated film “Despicable Me.” Both films are slated for 2010 releases. She is rumored to have another voice role in the British animated film “Flanimals” (2011).