30 Over 30: Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is a personal hero of mine. Not only because, at a time when only 10% of the top grossing films are written by women, she starred in Bridesmaids – a film she co-wrote with an old friend.

Not only because said film was a critical and financial success, receiving two golden globe nominations, two academy award nominations, and grossing $280 million worldwide.

But also because she answered phone calls for a law firm, handed out samples of peaches at farmers’ markets, and dressed windows at the store Anthropologie before she debuted on Saturday Night Live, at age 32.

Kristen Wiig gives me hope. That no matter how far my current work feels from what I eventually hope to do, and no matter how much time I feel I’ve wasted on more practical pursuits, the possibility of making a creative contribution still remains.

At age 41, Kristen Wiig is still keeping her options open. As she explains in an interview with Alec Baldwin, she keeps her future intentionally not mapped out, so as to allow maximum flexibility for her creative work:

Kristen Wiig: I don’t like having goals. That’s why I do what I do…I want to direct. I want to live in Paris and paint. I want to do a lot of different things.

Alec Baldwin: Seriously – you could live in Paris?

Kristen Wiig: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Alec Baldwin: And do what?

Kristen Wiig: I don’t know. Eat bread!

Alec Baldwin: You’d last in Paris for about two months.

Kristen Wiig: Well, maybe, but then I’d live in Paris for two months. How great would that be?

Alec Baldwin: You and I are going to have dinner… and we’ll have a separate lunch to talk about healthy goal-making.

Kristen Wiig: Okay. What I mean … It’s not that I don’t think you should have goals…What I’m saying is, my life right now is not what I thought it would be six months ago.

Alec Baldwin: It’s always people like you that end up on top.

Kristen Wiig: But you never know what’s going to happen. It’s so day-to-day and I don’t know. I wake up every day …

Alec Baldwin: I love that you’re so blithe about it, but in a healthy way, because that’s artistry to me.

Kristen Wiig: Oh, I never want to stop doing creative things, whatever they may be.

Alec Baldwin: Kristen Wiig. Next year you may find her baking bread in a corner boulangerie in Paris.

In her latest film – The Skeleton Twins – about a suicidal brother and sister who reunite after 10 years of not talking, she plays a dissatisfied dental hygienist with such nuance and heart that I wondered why all dramatic roles weren’t played by people who understand comedy this well:

Kristen Wiig: She can do comedy. She can do drama. What will she do next? I can’t wait to find out.

P.S. What’s your favorite Kristen Wiig moment?

Categories: 30 Over 30, Career

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