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.