Kristen Wiig on “Wonder Woman 1984” and Cheetah

Do people expect you to be big and boisterous in real life because they have seen that you have played those types of characters before?

Oh, yes, all the time. When people know that you are an actor, period, they think you are going to tell this wonderful story about what happened to you on the way to dinner and it is going to be captivating. Add to the fact that I’m mostly known for doing comedy and it’s like, “Okay, where are the voices?” I am not going to do the character right now. It is believed that acting is an extrovert. But it is not necessary.

When you are playing those types of roles, where do you find those qualities in yourself?

It depends on the character, but once I’m doing this – especially on “SNL”, because it’s live and you have millions watching – you just meet in one area. And then later you get out of it. It’s fun because even though Barbara was nervous and uncertain at the beginning, I found it difficult to play That Which later he becomes.

Why was it difficult?

Because I was resistant to adding humor to him, initially. I did not want me to sound too much like the things I had done before, or it seemed that I was not able to do this part, which did not involve anything. But Patty and I had this one thing that completely moved my brain to where she was like, if you let yourself just let that humor come out, it’s going to feel authentic and that’s it Not going to sound as weird as you think. And it completely changed my experience. When the cheetah is evil, it’s like, OK, now I’m this person. Maybe I actually had a more challenging time with that part of the shoot, due to Barbara being higher than me.

Was there physical training for this role?

[Exhales audibly] Yesss. About two months before I started shooting, I had found a trainer – the film wanted me, just to start. When you watch the film, we have learned and done all those fight sequences apart from our stunt people. The latter certainly has some CGI elements, but for the most part it is chord work. They are all real people. I was basically hugging for like nine months. And it is very easy to complain and say, “Oh my God, I can’t walk up the stairs.” But to be honest, being strong was so helpful, which was this character. It made me feel really good.

[The next few questions contain mild spoilers for “Wonder Woman 1984.”]

There is a scene where Barbara, just beginning to regain her powers, enters a party and is pleased to find that she is the center of everyone’s attention. Was it just as enjoyable for you to experience it, or do you feel the glow of the spotlight even more?

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