Ellie Kemper
Credit: Suzanne Hanover
  • Movie

Even a two-hour-plus movie couldn’t contain all the comedy talent of these hilarious women. Now that Bridesmaids is out on DVD and Blu-ray, you finally get to see a ton of alternate takes and scenes you didn’t see in theaters. EW spoke to four of the Bridesmaids ladies — Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper (sorry, not recent Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy) — about the stuff salvaged from the cutting room floor, and their ideas for a sequel!


Ellie Kemper
Credit: Suzanne Hanover

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The DVD has tons of extras and deleted scenes. What scenes are you most excited for fans to see for the first time?

KRISTEN WIIG: Well, I love the date scene with the little boy [who spouts off outrageous statements]. That’s in the new director’s cut. And the scene with Paul Rudd — I really missed those date scenes.

They bring a whole new level of sadness to your character.

Yeah, we really piled it on.

There are a lot of alternate takes to your opening sex scene with Jon Hamm. How long were you in those positions together?

Seventy-two hours. No, it was only one day. It was actually our last day of shooting. While we were shooting it, we were all kind of like, “What if he swings me around, or pulls me under the bed like one of those horror movies, where you just see my hands coming out?”

Your fingernails making scratch marks on the floor…

Exactly! So that was really fun thinking about the different ways he could kind of beat me up.

What’s a premise for a Bridesmaids sequel that you think would be funny to see?

We actually did think of one. In one of the outtakes, Megan, Melissa [McCarthy]’s character, wanted us to go on the Nevada Project. It’s kind of this horrible outdoor survival thing, and she improvised all these horrible things that would happen to you on this trip. [Laughs] Like you’re blindfolded and left outside for days and days, and it’s supposed to be this bonding experience. So we always joked around that we would all go on the Nevada Project and have to, like, rescue each other.

Like Bridesmaids-meets-Tropic Thunder.

Either that or we’d be on a submarine underwater. We’re just headed for a big reef, and all six of us are trying to maneuver the submarine … That’s a terrible idea. That won’t happen. That’s not even funny.

In one of the extras, we got a glimpse at you and [co-writer] Annie Mumolo doing a ton of improv together. Was that what the writing process was like?

Yeah! We wrote every page together. When you’re writing a screenplay with someone, there are different dynamics — like some people write everything together, some people say, “Oh, write five pages and send it back to me,” some people work on story while the other person works on dialogue … there are so many different combinations, and Annie and I tried all of it. We love just working together and improvising together, trying to find the best flow.

Did you leave a lot of room in the script to just make things up on set?

No, everything was written-through, we didn’t leave any spaces. It wasn’t like a skeleton of a script, or anything. We had everything written out, but there were certain scenes … like the plane scene, for instance. I knew that I’d be drunk and on pills, and we’d be able to just see how that was going to go. You know, Ben [Falcone] and Melissa, their whole thing with the air marshal, that was added later to the script, so they improvised a lot with each other, because, you know, they’re married, so they have a good rapport, they work together a lot. [Laughs] But we encouraged everyone to, if they didn’t feel comfortable with something, or they felt like maybe there was something they wanted to add, we would shoot it all different ways. We’d shoot it scripted, a little improvised, and then Paul [Feig] the director would say, “Dealer’s choice,” and people could just kind of do whatever they want to. We weren’t strict about it.

Did you and Annie have a laugh test for what made it into the script?

Yeah. Especially when you are working with deadlines, a lot of times I would fly to L.A. during my hiatus [from SNL] and go to her apartment, and we would just write for 12 hours a day. You know, there were moments when we’re just be staring at the wall, like, “Wait, what do you see?” And some other times we’re just crying on the floor laughing, like, “Oh my God, we can’t write that. That’s too insane!”

And then look at the finished product.

Yes, exactly!


Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I saw in the outtakes that you were the big laugher on set.

ROSE BYRNE: That’s in the outtakes? That’s terrible!

How often were you breaking into laughter?

Umm, constantly? Constantly. I was dreadful. Once they realized that I was the giggler, they, Melissa McCarthy in particular, could just take one look at me, and she knew that I would start laughing. She just started toying with me by the end. But yeah, I laugh a lot. I like laughing and the girls were just so funny. Some of the things they were saying, particularly Melissa because she’s so wildly sincere with these radical things that would come out of her mouth with such authority and confidence, I would just start to lose it. That’s funny that it’s on the DVD.

At most points of the movie, you stay pristine and dignified. Were you a little disappointed you didn’t get down and dirty with the rest of them, like in the bridal dress fitting scene?

At the time, I was relieved because it meant I didn’t have to spend as much time in hair and makeup, you know what mean? It’s things like that. On X-Men: First Class, everyone was like, “Were you disappointed you weren’t a superhero?” At the time, I was like, “No, because I get to sleep in ’til 8 o’clock,” but then you see the finish product and realize how cool it was. And then you see [the fitting scene in Bridesmaids], and you realize, “Of course, that was a really funny part!” It was fun, though, because Annie and I had that face-off in the store where I’m feeding her almonds, and that part was really funny as Kristen’s looking weirder and weirder and sicker and sicker, getting all drenched with sweat.

The tennis scene — the one-upping conversation you have with Kristen Wiig, and then the rather violent game afterwards — doesn’t get talked about as much as some other scenes, but it was one of my favorite parts.

I was really nervous shooting that scene. I hadn’t slept the night before. It was my first scene to shoot. I was super-nervous. A lot of that was massive improv, so I was really nervous about that.

Well, in the DVD outtakes, we see you do a lot of improv — how much experience did you have before Bridesmaids?

Well, Get Him to the Greek was heavily improvised as well, which is also produced by Judd Apatow. I got some improv in with Russell [Brand], who’s incredibly gifted with all of that stuff, so I had a good idea of how that would work. Then prior to that, I’d done improv in drama school and classes and things like that, but rarely on set. Usually people like to stick to the script.

What was more intimidating: Sharing a scene with Glenn Close for the first time, or with this group of funny women?

[Laughs] Oh my God. They were both super nerve-wracking but for different reasons. I can’t say one more than the other, you know? Working with Glenn was incredibly intimidating. In the audition and when I first started, it was totally nerve-wracking. I get nervous on the first day on set every time, and that never goes away. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing. It doesn’t leave you, I don’t think, or it doesn’t for me.

The scene with you and Kristen in the car is one of the highlights of the movie. What was the experience of being in a little car for all those hours like — and did Kristen actually drive?

Yeah, during the long sequence where she is turning around and all that stuff, she was actually driving the car. That was really hard. I must say, that scene was actually not that fun to shoot because we were really out far away in a weird part of L.A. It was really hot and muggy, and it was a stressful scene. My character was getting upset … that was not that fun. There was dust everywhere. I mean, it’s always fun, but it was tough.

Was there a scene you were particularly sad not to see make it into the final cut of the movie?

There’s a scene where I come in and confront Kristen when we’re at the jewelry store where her character works, and I come in wearing this ridiculous cape, and sunglasses on my head. I tell her, “I’ll pay for you to go to Las Vegas. Don’t ruin this trip.” And Helen is really passive-aggressive. That scene ultimately didn’t work out, but I would have like to have seen that.

Do you see yourself more as an Annie or Helen?

Well, weirdly, I think they’re actually more similar than they are different. I think they’re both quite competitive, they’re both quite stubborn, and I think they’re both as dysfunctional as each other. They just come from different places: Helen is very wealthy and sophisticated, and she’s very confident and she has status. She grew up with huge status and kind of confidence, you know? She’s entitled. And Annie doesn’t have that, but she is opinionated and feisty, just like Helen.


Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the bridal fitting scene, Rita’s the first one to vomit — and the distance of that vomit was pretty impressive. How many times did you have to do that?

WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY: Gosh. I really thought we were gonna nail that in one take, but we didn’t — it had to keep happening. They wanted the arc of the vomit when I run in to be a certain shape. I was covered in vomit for many hours, and I gotta tell you, it wasn’t as unpleasant as you might think. I’m not saying I want to do it every day, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was oatmeal, so it’s not like it stinks or anything. And if you’re going to be vomited upon, there’s no one better than Ellie Kemper to do it. It might as well be rose petals coming out of Ellie. [Laughs]

From your Reno 911 days, we know you’re a great improviser, so there were a lot of good deleted scenes of Rita. What were you most sad about not getting into the final cut of the theatrical movie?

The whole ramp-up to the kiss between me and Ellie on the plane is missing. The whole exchange got so bizarre — I don’t know if I want to tell you this because maybe it’s better that it didn’t make the cut, but we just go back and forth about how awful it is to have a baby and how disgusting the whole process is, how even though you’ve got stitches and you’re feeling gross, your husband’s going to want a b—job, and you’re gonna do it because you feel sorry for him.

What do you mean? Like “poor him,” he had to witness you giving birth?

Well, just that everyone’s going to want a piece of you, and it’s never going to end. You’re just not going to have boundaries anymore. Also, we had a deleted scene when Ellie and I are at the bridal shower buffet and we kind of need a resolution for our kiss. One of the resolutions we had was kind of angry, like, “Yeah, it never happened — get away from me!” Another one was like, “Hey, you’re a really nice girl, and I liked kissing you, but let’s never talk about it again.”

It was hilarious seeing you and Ellie together so much because your characters were so different.

Ellie is hilarious. I would make her talk to me in character just to see what that mind was coming up with. She was so nauseating when explaining the elaborate rituals that she and her husband would go through before they would have sex. After all that cleansing and praying and singing of hymns, they’d be too tired and have to do it another night! And they’d read to each other aloud from The Da Vinci Code. It was so funny.

When you were riffing about parenthood, where did all those disgusting details about raising boys — like breaking a blanket in half — come from?

I don’t have any kids, so I just took it from things I hear other people say. Some people are so awful about their children and talk so badly about them! They’re just setting their kids up to become serial killers. No wonder your kids hate you, I hate you! Like, I’ve been listening to you, and you haven’t said a nice thing about your kid. I sort of thought that’d be funny to play. My character isn’t necessarily likable, and that’s fine with me, as long as she’s recognizable. Everybody knows a person like Rita.

What should happen in a Bridesmaids sequel?

Oh, I’ve got plenty of premises for a sequel! I think what’s happening is that everybody gets pregnant, whether or not they want it, except for Maya’s character. She and her husband are trying to get pregnant, and it’s not happening. Rose ends up getting pregnant, and it’s the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. Kristen gets pregnant, and it’s like, “Oh no, this is not part of the plan.”

I bet she’s the worst pregnant woman.

Right, right! It’s the worst pregnancy ever. Ellie and her husband have adopted, but she has triplets or something in the meantime. Rita doesn’t get pregnant, but she’s left her husband and one of her boys knocks up a teacher. So Rita’s gonna be a grandma! [Laughs]

That actually sounds like a workable sequel!

It could work, it could work! Then there’s poor Maya wanting desperately to have a baby, and it just can’t happen. You have a serious moment of like, “We’re trying everything.”

Yeah, because the movie needs to have a heart at the core. But what about Melissa?

I think Melissa has a bunch of babies she’s selling on the black market. I think she’s like a broker. I think she knows someone who could get you hooked up with a ghetto baby under dire circumstances.

If you could cast Rita’s husband for the sequel, who would you choose?

Well, I’ll tell you who was cast: Paul Feig, the director! But all those scenes were cut. That’s why in the Wilson Phillips scene at the end, there’s a bit where he stands up with Becca’s husband and starts clapping and dancing around. Those are some scenes I wish could have been shown, because in the end, it’s like, “That’s who she’s been bitching about? This perfectly nice man?” If I had to recast him, though, I think Jack Black would be funny, because Rita’s always talking about how her husband is so oversexed.

I know you have a long history with Kristen and Melissa from The Groundlings. Did that make it easier to make a movie with them?

Oh, gosh, that made it so easy. Here’s the thing: Me, Maya, Kristen, and Melissa all met on the same night, at a wedding shower 10 years ago. Isn’t that weird? At the time, Maya was on SNL, Melissa was on Gilmore Girls, and Kristen and I were just coming up through the school. We were in the Sunday Company, and we got invited to this wedding shower for one of the company girls. It was at Melissa’s house, and Maya flew in for it. Kristen and I were just in awe of them, like, “Oh, gosh, I hope this acting thing works out,” because we were broke. That’s also where we first met Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote the movie with Kristen. Knowing so many of the girls and the supporting cast from The Groundlings made it easy because we all knew how to improvise with each other—when to stand back, when to chime in. It was a dream situation.

Was it weird seeing Melissa in straight roles all those years?

Yeah! The thing is, I’ve only seen Melissa be bizarre. At The Groundlings, she’s gone way further than Megan! I’ve seen her do some crazy stuff, so it’s her TV stuff that gets me confused. “She’s playing the straight person? Don’t they know what they have?” With this movie, I thought, “People are going to love her.” I thought the same thing with Rose Byrne because she always plays very serious, but she’s hysterical. In rehearsal, she’s so deadly serious as she’s being funny. She doesn’t laugh at her own jokes. I love that people can see how funny she is now.

While you were filming Bridesmaids, did you have any idea it’d be a big hit?

I knew it could be a big hit because we were in such good hands — but because there was so much material they had to take out, you had to wonder, “Gosh, did they take the right stuff out?” We all thought the movie was very funny. We were all laughing on set, but we all tend to be a little odd — our tastes run to the crazy column. Are we insane, or is this funny? It sure felt funny, but you never know until the audience chimes in.


Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I think with people knowing you as Erin on The Office and now Becca in Bridesmaids, they’d love to think you’re really that bubbly and perfect in real life — but do you ever curse?

In real life, I have anger streaks! Maybe it’s my red hair or vaguely Irish features — I’m actually not that Irish. There’s one episode of The Office where Erin really loses it, and I can sort of relate to that. I hope if there’s a Bridesmaids sequel, Becca could have a breakdown like that.

Can you give me your pitch for a sequel?

Ooh, okay! I have this idea that I know would never happen. I want to see a prequel: Flower Girls! I want to see all of these women when they were kids. [Laughs] It could just be like, competitive flower girls, and it would be called Flower Girls. That’s all that I’ve thought through so far.

I spoke to Wendi earlier, and we talked a lot about you. What was it like feeding off her when your characters were completely opposite?

I loved it because we were on the same page in terms of realizing that Rita was just like my character [Becca] when she first got married. Becca is optimistic and has great hopes for her marriage; Rita, after however many years of being married, saw the reality of it, and the reality is really gross boys and cracking blankets and a husband who only wants to have sex. Wendi is just so funny — everything that comes out of her mouth is hilarious.

How many times did you have to throw up on Wendi’s head?

I probably only did it eight or ten times, which I don’t think is that many. But there was a scene that ended up getting cut out where I’m running to the dress manager’s office and I projectile vomit onto her framed wedding photo, and I remember we did that quite a few times. One time, I didn’t open the door in time so I ran right into the door and hurt my nose — I’m such a bumpkin. You know when you get hurt in front of people, you act like it didn’t hurt? But when you hit your nose, it immediately brings tears to your eyes. I was like, “I’m fine, I’m fine!”

In the outtakes, you come up with so many hilariously juvenile bachelorette party ideas — where did those come from?

They were just supposed to be a look into Becca’s world. Out there, but in a different way from Megan. This is what she considers to be a good time, like a Pixar-themed party. My favorite one, which didn’t make the final cut, was Bethlehem. Becca has the idea to go to Bethlehem for the bachelorette party! Who does that? It would be heretofore never done, to have a bachelorette party in Bethlehem.

That’s hilarious. It’s not Jerusalem, where people actually talk about going to. Bethlehem is all about Baby Jesus.

Exactly! And to be honest, I’m not even sure if Bethlehem is still like…

An incorporated city or anything like that? [I checked, and it is. Oops.]

I know, exactly! [Laughs] I don’t even know how we’d get there. The logistics could be worked out later. That would be a good sequel!

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  • 124 minutes
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