4 Facts About Kristen Wiig

7:43 PM PST 05/12/2011 by THR staff
Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup
Kristen Wiig with Jon Cryer

The "Saturday Night Live" regular stars in "Bridesmaids," which she co-wrote.

Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig returns to theaters Friday with Bridesmaids, which she co-wrote. Here are four facts about the actress:

-- She majored in studio art at the University of Arizona and took an acting class only to fulfill a requirement. But her teacher encouraged her to continue acting."I was like: What? No -- I'm. . . . No. It didn't even cross my mind," she told the New York Times. But she later took the advice, dropping out of school and moving to L.A. to try acting. She was further inspired after seeing a Groundlings show. "Sometime just clicked in me," she said, and began taking classes there.

RELATED: Read The Hollywood Reporter's review of "Bridesmaids."

-- Her big break was on SNL. Wiig joined the show in 2005 after parts in projects like Spike TV's fake reality show The Joe Schmo Show. Her creations include Target Lady, a character inspired by a real Target clerk; Gilly, a mischievous school girl; and Penelope, who constantly one-ups everyone around her. She's been nominated for two Emmys for her work on the show.

-- SNL creator Lorne Michaels ranks her as one of the show's top performers of all time. Asked by the New York Times to rank Wiig among the show's best performers ever, Michaels replied without hesitation: "Top three or four." That's saying a lot, considering the 36-year-old show has been home to John Belushi, Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, among numerous others.

RELATED: A Rare Glimpse Inside the Empire of 'SNL's' Lorne Michaels

-- Wiig came up with Bridesmaids after making her big-screen debut in Judd Apatow's 2007 comedy Knocked Up. She played a passive-aggressive assistant opposite Katherine Heigl in the movie. Afterward, according to Entertainment Weekly, Apatow asked her to brainstorm ideas for a screenplay, so she sat down with friend Annie Mumolo and came up with Bridesmaids, which Apatow produced.

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