What You Didn't Know About Kristen Wiig

There are a lot of reasons to be a fan of the fabulous Kristen Wiig. As those who have seen her in plenty of popular productions over the years will know, she is simply a captivating celebrity with an audience-pleasing onscreen presence. Indeed, "when Wiig appears on film, onstage — as she did with glorious hilarity alongside Maya Rudolph at [the] Oscars — or in an at-home monologue for Saturday Night Live, she vibrates with such high-frequency talent, she could land one performance and lie down for a year," according to InStyle.

When it comes to morphing into the quirky personas that have made her famous, Wiig explained to The New York Times,  "Once I'm doing it — especially on SNL, because it's live and you have millions of people watching — you just get in a zone." Wiig was also willing to acknowledge that people expect her to be like her characters in certain ways, saying, "I'm known for doing mostly comedy and it's like, 'OK, where are the voices?'" While she did admit that the well-known characters that she's been known to take on over the years are "all inside" of her, she added with a laugh, "I don't know how to get rid of them."

That's likely why those who meet Wiig would be interested in the fictional characters she's known for, and yet, you'll surely be just as interested to find out the following facts about the star herself.

Kristen Wiig had some interesting odd jobs

Many actors use side gigs to keep themselves fed while chasing their dreams. In order to keep a roof over her head, Kristen Wiig "paid her rent with odd jobs, including floral designing and acting in commercials," according to the Los Angeles Times. She explained (concerning the latter, of course), "Having to smile while holding a box of tampons wasn't my dream." The outlet also noted that Wiig "waited tables at the Universal Pictures commissary," of which she said, "A couple [of] 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.'" 

Before Wiig made it on the silver screen, she also flamed out after just one day while working in a law office and suffering a truly relatable struggle. She told Vogue, "This is going to make me sound so stupid, but the phone system was so confusing, I literally couldn't figure it out."

Luckily for fans of Wiig and her comedy, none of these jobs inspired her to stay in the daily grind. Women's Health reported that "[b]etween a zillion day jobs — including working at hot dog stands and a florist — she landed in the famed Los Angeles comedy group The Groundlings, and eventually made her way to Lorne Michaels [Saturday Night Live big wig]," and the rest is history.

The star's teacher told her to go into acting

When Kristen Wiig went off to university, it wasn't to pursue a lifelong dream of being a Hollywood star. In fact, when she enrolled at the University of Arizona, her major was in studio art. She told The New York Times that acting "didn't even cross [her] mind." In fact, when she chose an acting course in university it was "only to fulfill a requirement." Little did she know that this seemingly small decision would help shape her future career.

Wiig was "terrified" when she signed up for the class, she later recalled to The Guardian (via Biography), saying, "I don't really like talking in front of groups of people. Through high school, if ever I had to give a speech, I would try to get out of it or not go to school that day." Despite that, she not only liked her college acting class, and her "teacher was really encouraging for [her] to keep doing it." That emotional boost from her professor at the time was enough of a push in the right direction for Wiig to seriously set her sights on the art of acting.

Wiig didn't finish college, instead heading to L.A. to chase the acting bug that bit her. There, she found the Groundlings improv comedy troupe, and at that point, "something just clicked in me," she told The New York Times. From there, she was on her path to eventual fame.

The Groundlings started it all for Kristen Wiig

After Kristen Wiig's brief stint at the University of Arizona where she merely scratched the surface of the acting world, she made a major decision that would eventually lead to her career in Hollywood. Wiig was set to start a job in a plastic surgeon's office as a body sketch artist when, she later told Women's Health, "I remember looking around and thinking, 'I don't want this to be my life.'" She recalled taking a long look in the mirror and asking herself a big question: "OK, if you could do anything, what would it be?' And I thought, 'I would move to L.A. Just try to act.'"

Wiig was, in turn, drawn to improv through the legendary Los Angeles troupe, The Groundlings. She told The Guardian that it didn't have the "lurking fear [that] there was a right and a wrong way to say [things]. With improvisation, there was no right and wrong: 'You can't mess it up and you can't forget your lines.'"

The Groundlings offered a creative outlet for Wiig, and it was where she met her future Bridesmaids co-writing partner, Annie Mumolo. The troupe was also a starting point for other successful comedic actors, including Paul Reubens aka Pee-Wee Herman, Conan O'Brien, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Fallon, Will Farrell, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy. In fact, its alternate format was the original home of the Pee-Wee Herman Show and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, before both became television classics.

Kristen Wiig wrote Bridesmaids in 6 days

After Kristen Wiig's small yet unforgettable roles in Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall by producer Judd Apatow, she impressed him so much that he asked her to take the creative lead in a future project. Wiig told Stylist, "He asked me to write a script and said it could be about anything I wanted, just written by me or with a friend." She immediately reached out to fellow Groundlings alumna Annie Mumolo and "came up with this concept about a maid of honor whose life sort of falls apart and she feels like she's having to compete with all these other women in the wedding." The idea was so strong that Wiig jumped on a plane to New York to work with Mumolo and they "wrote the script in six days." Granted, Wiig admitted, "We didn't know what we were doing."

In true fake-it-till-you-make-it form, Wiig and Mumolo (who is credited as "Nervous Woman on Plane" in the film) enlisted the aid of a screenwriter's book to help them create comedic gold. Wiig told Stylist that it was a "guide to how to do it, like Screenwriting 101." She added, "We didn't know how to write stage directions or anything so we were, 'Oh put 'Cut to' there.' We put 'Cut to' on everything actually." In the end, both critics and audiences loved Bridesmaids, and it helped take Wiig's career to another level.

There will be no following Kristen Wiig on social media

For celebrities, social media can be a valuable tool when it comes to keeping their fans up to date on their projects, what causes they care about, and even just what they had for breakfast. But Kristen Wiig chooses to keep her social life to herself. At the time of writing, Wiig's website, kristenwiig.com, is simply a blank white background with a sketch of a woman's face (presumably Wiig) done by the late Jason Polan, an artist who, according to ArtNews, is best known for their "project, 'Every Person In New York,'" which "involved attempting to draw" — you guessed it — "every person in New York." The bottom of the website features the caption: "Kristen is not on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Myspace, or any other social networking website."

Even though former Saturday Night Live pals and fellow Ghostbusters co-stars Mellissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones (who boast over 9.1 million and 1.4 million followers on Instagram respectively) find success in using social media to stay in the spotlight — and there are plenty of Wiig fan accounts on various popular platforms — Wiig remains relatively quiet on the web, telling NJ.com, "I try to separate who I am, privately and publicly." She added that back in the day, "it'd be sort of strange if someone whipped out a camera and stuck it in a stranger's face and now it's not. I don't like that at all."

Kristen Wiig gave a lock of her hair to Katy Perry

Why would Kristen Wiig give Katy Perry some of her hair?! Well, it all started on Twitter. In the time leading up to the singer's debut appearance as the host of Saturday Night Live in 2010, she sent out a tweet asking the SNL comedian, "Can I have a lock of your hair ... to put under my pillow ... to touch before I go to bed every night ... kthnxbye." Wiig explained to Elle that when she was told about the message, she "got an envelope, cut off some of [her] hair, put it in [Perry's] dressing room, and probably scared her!"

Later in 2012, Wiig had a conversation with Perry for Interview, and the two discussed all of the hairy details. Perry recalled that the arguably strange present was given to her with "a little card" that included a sweet message and a tiny lock of hair with a little baby-blue bow attached." Wiig responded by admitting, "I remember thinking, This is either the creepiest thing I've ever done or it's the best."

The thought seemed to be reciprocated well enough by the pop-star, although authenticity was put into question. In the same interview, Perry dug to the root of it to find out, asking Wiig, "That wasn't your real hair, though, was it?" Wiig confessed, "Yeah, it was ... I wouldn't give you wig hair. Gross." Yeah, because that would be weird.

You may have heard Kristen Wiig's voice work without knowing it

More and more actors have stepped behind the microphone of major animated productions which are "gobbling up a bigger and bigger share of the box office," according to The Washington Post. And while there are many reasons established stars get cast for voice work, when it comes to Wiig, it seems her voice and ability to nail various personalities have helped her land work in animated films including Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs as Pudgy Beaver Mom, Despicable Me as Miss Hattie, and Despicable Me 2 and 3 as Lucy.

Wiig was also the voice of Ruffnut in How To Train Your Dragon, Lola in The Looney Toons Show, Brenda in Sausage Party, and who could forget her as "Jessi's Vagina" in Big Mouth? In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Big Mouth co-creator Andrew Goldberg talked about casting Wiig as the sassy genitals of Jessi Glaser, saying, "If you're going to have a talking vagina, Kristen Wiig is the right person to do it."

In the case of Wiig's secret agent character, Lucy, in Despicable Me 2 and 3, the fact is that the performer could have just played herself. "But where's the fun in that?" she asked The Washington Post. Instead, she opted to play with her vocal talent and make the character something more unique, which is something that audiences surely appreciated.

Kristen Wiig may land meaty parts but she's a (sexy) vegetarian

Kristen Wiig joins a long list of celebrities who have chosen to say "no" to eating meat. For Wiig, the decision is about staying healthy, which she attributes to regular exercise and a vegetarian diet. In an interview with Women's Health in 2008, she explained, "I'm a vegetarian; I eat a lot of tofu and soy. I drink a lot of water, and I'm addicted to cranberry juice." On top of weekly yoga classes, and running around New York City, she noted that she never misses a chance to treat herself, saying, "I do have a splurge day once a week when I can eat whatever I want."

But just because Wiig is looking out for the living creatures of the world doesn't mean she has to watch her calories. When asked by Women's Health about her "splurge" of choice, she responded, "Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms are kind of the best thing that's ever been made. And lemon cupcakes from Buttercup Bake Shop, near my house." And that's not all. She also told the outlet that she loves "hot, melted cheesy sandwiches" and "sweet potato fries."

While opting for a veggie-heavy diet obviously pays off for Wiig in other ways, it also turns out that she was PETA's choice for "Sexiest Vegetarian" in 2011, an honor that she shared with fellow comedic-actor and non-meat eater Russell Brand.

The road to motherhood was tough for Kristen Wiig

In 2020, Kristen Wiig opened up about the difficult process that eventually led to the birth of her children. Alongside her husband, actor Avi Rothamn (who you might know from Silver Lake, The Blackout, and Wonder Woman 1984), Wiig went through years of IVF treatments. She told InStyle, "Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was probably the most difficult time in my life." She added, "There are so many emotions that go with it — you're always waiting by the phone and getting test results, and it was just bad news after bad news."

After years of negative results, Wiig's doctor brought up alternative methods. "I finally realized that I just needed help," she said. "And, thank God, we found the most amazing surrogate." The star described the process of surrogacy as "bittersweet" mixed with emotions of: "Why couldn't I do this?" But ultimately, she "would tell [her]self it didn't matter, saying, "The surrogate was giving us the greatest gift, and I just wanted them to get here!"

Wiig welcomed twins into the world in 2020, but fans of the actor had to look closely for clues if they wanted to find out their names. The monikers were stealthily revealed in the credits of Wiig's 2021 film Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. According to E!, "In the first line of the 'Special Thanks' section, fans noticed that Avi's name appears next to 'Luna & Shiloh,' which seems to be the names of the couple's twins."

The mega-star is actually shy

When you look back at such iconic Saturday Night Live alumni as Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler, you wouldn't really associate the word "shy" with them. And at first glance, you might say the same thing about Kristen Wiig, but did you know she actually considers herself to be on the timid side? When Wiig talked to Dave Grohl for Interview Magazine in 2011, she admitted, "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."

With so many out-there characters that Wiig has portrayed in her career, you might wonder how she copes with her self-proclaimed shyness. She explained, "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. I get a little anxious, I guess. But if I'm on stage in front of hundreds of people and I am a character doing a monologue, I'm totally fine." She also told NJ.com, "I even had a thing at SNL where I wouldn't want to do Weekend Update as myself. I always tried to do it as a character... I just wanted to be myself as little as possible."

Frankly, Wiig isn't alone in her shyness. Nicole Kidman, Britney Spears, Blake Lively, and Salma Hayek Pinault all surprisingly consider themselves to be introverts.

Kristen Wiig is worth some serious dough

Kristen Wiig has made quite a name for herself in the entertainment industry. Thanks to that fact, she's earned quite a bit of money from both acting and writing. Her longtime stint on SNL helped her rack up multiple Primetime Emmy nominations and likely lucrative paychecks at the same time. When it comes to her super-popular film Bridesmaids, which she co-wrote and starred in, she was graced with a Golden Globes nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture and an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. According to IMDb, the film had a "budget of $32.5 million" and went on to gross over "$288 million worldwide."

On top of that, Wiig has earned both acclaim — and money — by taking on plenty more film and television gigs, including the all-female-fronted Ghostbusters, The Last Man on Earth, Mother, Wonder Woman 1984, and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.

When it comes to her career, Wiig likes to shake it up and challenge herself, telling InStyle, "The moment I feel like I've really got something figured out, it's time for me to do something else. Living in that uncomfortable, unsteady, nervous place helps me creatively... But with any project, you're taking a chance. I just go with my gut." Going with her gut has helped this star earn a $25 million fortune, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which means she's laughing all the way to the bank.