The Untold Truth Of Annie Mumolo

Between Bad Moms and Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo has proven herself as one of the funniest women in Hollywood. While the world largely met her as the paranoid woman on the plane back in coach in the latter flick — which she co-wrote with pal Kristen Wiig — Mumolo has been following her star in Hollywood since years before. Not only were her first gigs voice acting roles in shows like Curious George and Neopets' The Darkest Faerie video game, but her roots with comedy big hitters like Wiig and Melissa McCarthy go way back.

Mumolo may be an expert at crafting hilarious characters and scenarios — she got Jamie Dornan to perform a full-on musical number in 2021's Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, after all — but she's preferred to take a backseat in the fame wagon. Though that doesn't mean the screenwriter and actor has run out of things to say. In fact, she still remains just as determined to make her mark in comedy as she was when she first moved to Los Angeles. "You're always feeling you have to prove yourself, and then once you do that, you're onto the next thing and you feel like you have to prove yourself again," Mumolo told Vanity Fair in 2016.

She might keep a low profile, but the reality of her own life has proven to be some of her best comical fodder. This is the untold truth of Annie Mumolo.

Annie Mumolo is a California native

Annie Mumolo is a west coast girl through and through. She was born in Irvine, Calif., where she attended Mater Dei High School, according to the Orange County Register. Her father worked as a dentist while her mother stayed home with Mumolo and her two siblings, per Vanity Fair. When it came time for college, she didn't venture far, attending University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained a history degree.

Although her studies in history wouldn't prove useful in her career as a bona fide star, Mumolo already had show business in her blood. Her grandfather, Dominic Mumolo, who died in 2009, was a studio musician at NBC who performed on late-night legacy shows like The Tonight Show and Dean Martin, as well as on records with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.

For her part, Annie Mumolo showed interest in performing at a young age, growing up giving "impressions at the table" for her family and using laughter as a balm for life's hardships. "When I was five, my mom said I did an impression of Mae West," she recounted to Vanity Fair. "Then, you know, in your pre-teen years, I was anxious and in a real awkward stage and your sense of humor is what gets you through."

She moved to L.A. to follow her dreams

With a dream of pursuing acting, Annie Mumolo headed to Los Angeles after graduating college. According to Vanity Fair, though she took acting classes during her time at Berkeley and later at the South Coast Repertory Theater, she wasn't quite prepared for the "very humiliating" odd jobs she'd take up supporting herself as an actor. Her experience with one gig in particular — performing as a mermaid in costume at a kid's birthday party — sounds like it was pulled straight from one of her movies

"The costume was two shells and a string and then, like, a tight fin down to the ankles," Mumolo told Vanity Fair. "You had to make balloon animals and do magic shows." As if it couldn't get worse, the star remembered one event where her "flimsy bikini top fell down" while she was taking photos with children, and she was left exposed. Later, she added, "I realized I didn't have a change of clothes and I was out of gas and I had to go pump gas in the costume."

After hanging up the fins, Mumolo found work as a mall elf during Christmastime and as a waitress, a job that proved to be slightly less embarrassing as she began gaining steam performing with L.A.'s The Groundlings, where she'd soon strike magic.

Annie Mumolo found her dream partners at Groundlings

Los Angeles' The Groundlings Theatre & School is where comedy icons like Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, and Will Forte got their start. But in the 2000s, it was where future Bridesmaids stars Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Annie Mumolo met for the first time. According to Vanity Fair, Mumolo took classes and performed with the group for a decade. After she made the troupe's prestigious Sunday Company show, she began performing alongside Wiig and their onstage spark was undeniable. 

"We instantly had success together getting stuff into the show," Mumolo told the outlet. "We had chemistry, I guess, that is rare to find creatively."

Mumolo and Wiig had been sitting on an idea for a film about bridesmaids, inspired by Mumolo's own experiences in bridal parties, for a while. It seemed they might have found their big break when "a producer approached the duo" following one of their shows, however he went radio silent after they pitched him the film, per the outlet. Considering it would turn into one of the highest grossing female comedies of all-time, we bet that producer is kicking themselves now!

She didn't want the same things as Kristen Wiig

Annie Mumolo enjoys her level of fame, but it's come with its sacrifices. When Kristen Wiig left The Groundlings to join the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2005, Mumolo went through a rough patch. 

"Kristen left and I lost that pregnancy and then I was sort of ... I wasn't at the theater when [producers of SNL] came to get people, and had a bit of a feeling of loss," she told Vanity Fair. "I guess before Kristen left, I didn't realize how much joy our creative relationship gave me." Even though she didn't get a chance to audition, Mumolo said she came to terms with the fact SNL "really wasn't [her] path." She explained, "I always wanted to have kids and I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I've never lost sleep over it. It was a brief phase that happened during that time period." 

Thankfully, her best friend's newfound success was about to pay off. After Wiig scored a role in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up, Mumolo was able to secure them a meeting with the famed director. "It's so funny because I had no idea at the time that I was 'pitching a movie,'" she told Screen Rant. "I told him the story [of Bridesmaids] and the next day we thought maybe we wanted to change our minds ... and he was like, 'Oh no, I already sold [it] to Universal.'"

Annie Mumolo did not expect Bridesmaids to be a game-changing hit

Although Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig pitched Judd Apatow the idea for Bridesmaids in 2006, it wouldn't hit theaters until 2011. According to Vanity Fair, in that time, Mumolo had her daughter, Grace, and her son, Vincent — and, oh yeah, she also wrote and filmed a blockbuster comedy. As mentioned, Mumolo appears in the movie's hilarious airplane scene, where she warns Wiig's character, Annie, that she had a dream about the plane going down — and that she was in it. 

While Mumolo originally intended to have a bigger role in the film as one of the bridesmaids, her second pregnancy and the delay in production forced her to take on a smaller part. "Now I have my amazing 10-year-old son that I would just never trade for it," she told Indiewire in 2021.

The film follows Annie as she deals with the pressures of being her best friend's (Wiig's former SNL castmate and pal, Maya Rudolph) maid-of-honor, especially as her own life falls apart. The movie obviously struck a chord with audiences, but no one could've anticipated its success, including Mumolo. "My knees buckled [after finding out the movie was selling out theaters,]" she told the Orange County Register in 2012. The comedy flick went on to gross over $288 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo, and it earned both Wiig and Mumolo an Oscar nom for best original screenplay.

Things got a bit rough for this comedy star after her initial success

Bridesmaids put Annie Mumolo on the map, but navigating her next move in Hollywood proved to be more difficult. "I was basically told, 'No one knows what the value of your contribution was to [Bridesmaids], so you need to write something alone," Mumolo told Vanity Fair in 2016. Offers came pouring in for her to re-write scripts, although impostor syndrome hit the Oscar-nominated screenwriter hard. "I just didn't feel confident enough or comfortable enough taking that on," Mumolo admitted. 

Still, when the opportunity to write a film about Joy Mangano — mom-turned-mastermind inventor — came along, Mumolo felt both creatively piqued and challenged. Mumolo is a big fan of the Miracle Mop creator, calling her "a rare human being [who] glows when you meet her," but her experience working on the film that would become 2015's Joy was anything but miraculous. Although she spent two years crafting the script, after director David O. Russell and actor Jennifer Lawrence came aboard, he was given complete freedom over the project. Mumolo ended up with a "Story By" credit and ditched the premiere. 

"Everything that happened with Joy and the making of the actual movie is a movie of itself," Mumolo wistfully told Variety in 2021, adding that the process "was a very heartbreaking experience" and that she still "can't say too much." Still, learning firsthand the dynamics between studios, directors, and the writer's position was "a life lesson."

Annie Mumolo is good friends with Tilda Swinton

The universal humor of Bridesmaids didn't just unite men and women — it also made Hollywood's quirkiest star, Tilda Swinton, laugh her head off. After seeing the film in theaters, Swinton reached out to Annie Mumolo and the two have been email friends ever since. "She's like, from another world," Mumolo gushed to Vanity Fair. "She's one of the most intelligent people I've ever encountered ... Her emails are like works of art, truly. They should be published. The way she communicates is just beautiful and poetic."

Not only are the two BFFs — Do they use emojis? We have to know! — but they also became collaborators. Mumolo told Vanity Fair in 2016 that Swinton approached her about penning a "modern-day" retelling of Auntie Mame based on the book and 1958 film about an unconventional woman who is forced to take in her nephew. Although, as of this writing, there's been no reports on the film beyond its announcement, our fingers are crossed that we get to see this one soon!

This talented writer-actor is also a mother

Annie Mumolo gave birth to her two kids during the inception and production process of Bridesmaids, but it was hard work. In 2016, she admitted to Vanity Fair that being pregnant on set, as well as dealing with an onslaught of award show campaigning, had her feeling "exhausted." But being a mom was always one of Mumolo's dreams, and the Bad Moms star loves talking about her son, Vincent, and daughter, Grace — though she's pretty real when it comes to the pressures of being a mom. 

"I run through the day," Mumolo explained to Conan O' Brien in 2016. "Running to get breakfast, and then running to school. We're those people." Now that her kids are older, she has a bit more time for writing — and some very handy guinea pigs to test out jokes on. "My kids are just sick of all [of it]," she told Variety in 2021, adding that she made them watch "so much content" for her film, Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar. "My son's teacher asked him yesterday, 'Hey, my wife's looking for something funny to watch. Does your mom have anything my wife should be watching soon?' And my son was like, "I don't think so.'" Ouch!

Annie Mumolo wrote a movie with her husband before their divorce

Even though they reportedly — and quietly — divorced in 2016, Annie Mumolo had a good relationship with husband Tim Lovestedt during their 11-year marriage. Like his former wife, Lovestedt is an actor, having made appearances in Bikini Hotel and Parenthood. Their chemistry and banter was once on full display in a client review video for Pasadena Real Estate back in 2014. And the two even worked together on one of Mumolo's first post-Bridesmaids gigs. According to Deadline, they collaborated with Big Hero 6 scribe Jordan Roberts to revise Pamela Gray's script for 2017's Megan Leavey.

The Kate Mara-led film, based on a true story, documents the bond between Marine corporal Megan Leavey and her military combat dog, Rex. While Rex is initially too aggressive to work with anyone else, Leavey trains him and the two complete more than 100 missions together until an accident changes everything. The film received rave reviews from critics, with Variety calling it "a reasonably moving tribute to an unlikely, and unbreakable, friendship."

She learned a lot from her role in Bad Moms

In addition to her hilarious part in Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo has been a certifiable scene-stealer in other female-fronted comedies like 2016's The Boss and Bad Moms. Vicky, her character in the latter who's best friends with mean mom Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), nails every one-liner she's given. The STX Entertainment film, which follows a group of under-appreciated moms who decide they're no longer going to stress on keeping up appearances, was a surprise box office hit, grossing over $183 million worldwide.

The movie resonated with moms everywhere, Mumolo and her co-stars included. In a junket interview ahead of the film's release, Mumolo told mommy blog This N' That with Olivia that the experience taught her the importance of taking time for herself. "I always felt guilty in the beginning, now I'm really good at being a bad mom," she joked. "As a working mom, it's so very challenging but if you don't make sure to take just a little care of yourself ... then you can't be the mother you hoped to be."

Annie Mumolo has made a comfortable living

To call Annie Mumolo a multi-hyphenate would be an understatement. In addition to screenwriting, voice acting, and movie appearances, Mumolo has nabbed a number of small screen roles in shows like Two and a Half Men, Out of Practice, About a Boy, and Mapleworth Murders. Between all of her projects, she's worth an estimated $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth

Still, being so successful and balancing life as a mother of two doesn't come without its struggles, and Mumolo's the first to admit to grabbing a glass of wine and some Instagram time after experiencing early dismissal days or "the line at the Gap Kids." As she explained on the set of 2016's Bad Moms, "Being a working mom is extremely challenging, because you feel like you are failing in all areas at all times ... You never feel like you are able to be fully present in one of the areas of your life." We think she makes it look easy!

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are still 'creative wives'

Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig reunited for 2021's Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, an irreverent comedy that's as zany as its name. The film follows two middle-aged women, played by Wiig and Mumolo, who lose their jobs at a furniture store and decide to treat themselves to a fancy Florida vacation to find themselves again. There's of course a singing Jamie Dornan, a super villain, and a mermaid cameo from Reba McEntire — but we're getting ahead of ourselves. 

The flick received positive reviews from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes writing it reaffirmed "that Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig are still as fun — and funny — as ever." And its success speaks to the gold the two funny ladies found when they began performing together with The Groundlings more than a decade ago.

"We always joke that we're each other's creative wives," Wiig explained to Variety in 2021. For her part, Mumolo described their chemistry as "almost like the lightning bolt of finding a marriage partner," telling the outlet, "When you find someone you can laugh with like that, it's such a healing." Lucky for us all, Mumolo revealed the duo "always [has] ideas written down," so we're sure we haven't seen the last of them yet.