Paul Feig, director of the hit comedy, Bridesmaids, recently talked with Speakeasy about working with the predominately female cast and how he was open to on-set improvisation.
On directing Kristen Wiig, he said that she “actually came into this wanting to play it very grounded to the point where I felt like I wanted to showcase her comedy a little bit more. Because the first draft they wrote of the script was really a good draft, but it had her a little more reactive – she had very funny people around her and was very kind of grounded in her journey. And it was like, I want both because I’ve seen her in movies and she’s always fantastic. But I’ve seen her movies where she’s not funny at all, she plays it pretty straight, and I’m always kind of like oh shoot, I want to see Kristen be funny too.”
Feig says he wants his actors to be open to improvising if it feels right for the character. “I’m a big believer that if you have very real characters and actors playing the characters in a very real way where they are the person and they’re not commenting on the person, then you can put them in the craziest situations,” he said. “Because then it’s just like for you and I, suddenly if a spaceship came down and we got sucked into an alien spaceship, you and I would react the way that we react to things around here. And the problem is when you do things and these people are acting like crazy people, and you’re like okay, what reality am I in? But if people are reacting in a believable way you can kind of take an audience anywhere.”