April 09, 2012 8:52am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Kristen Wiig Talks Leaving 'SNL,' Character Inspirations on Alec Baldwin's Podcast
Kristen Wiig has had confirmed Saturday night plans for the past seven years, but will her long-running reservation at 30 Rock in Manhattan soon be coming to an end?
Having made the transition from sketch series ensemble player to bonafide movie star with last spring's Bridesmaids, speculation about Wiig's future on Saturday Night Live has swirled for the past year -- a report last week even said that she and co-stars Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis, who have also made the transition to film, will be leaving at the end of this season. But in her interview on Alec Baldwin's podcast Here's the Thing, Wiig seemed much less sure of any decision.
When Baldwin asserted that she'd be leaving this year, Wiig answered, "I don't know," though she did acknowledge that her contract was expiring, adding, "Well, everyone has to leave." Still, the idea of leaving Studio 8H behind left her quite sad.
"I will say that when I do leave it’s not because I’m sick of it and not because I see something better or anything like that," she said. "It’s just that it’s time. When I do leave, it will be the hardest thing. I mean, you know. You’re there for a week and on Saturday night you’re sad because you leave these people."
Wiig continued, talking about the helter-skelter, rushed nature of the show and the closeness it fosters between cast members.
"Being surrounded by creative people and knowing that you’re all in it together, and you’re putting on a show, you’re all pushing this huge boulder together – every Saturday you do something that you’re scared to do – I think I will miss that feeling," she added.
But it wasn't all looking backwards when it came to the famed comedy institution; Wiig also discussed how being on the show helped her carve out her highly unique niche.
"That, I have to say, one of the greatest gifts that I’ve gotten from SNL is getting out of my comfort zone," she offered. "I realized, and I think Lorne [Michaels] realized probably the first handful of years that I was there, most of my characters were ladies in their 40s with short hair and weird sweaters, that no one wanted at their dinner party. The good thing about being at SNL, for me creatively, is to think, 'Okay, I’m comfortable enough. I really want to try something that’s not something that I normally do.'"
"That’s when I actually first came up with the character Shana, the one that’s sexy but then gross things," she continued. "I was like, 'I really want to write a character that looks kind of good but blank,' and that’s where the flirting lady came from, too. I didn’t really know what that was going to be. None of it was on the page when we wrote it."
As for her future beyond SNL, Wiig spoke about Imogene, which she will co-star in with Annette Bening, and some more dramatic projects she wants to pursue. She's also in talks to co-star with Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and will co-star with Robert De Niro in The Comedian.