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How to Write a Profile of Kristen Wiig

Photo: Michael Buckner/2011 Getty Images
Photo: Michael Buckner/2011 Getty Images

Want to write an article about Kristen Wiig? Of course you do! To help you out, Vulture has assembled this handy checklist of apparently required items to mention or acknowledge in a piece about Kristen Wiig, pulled from seven profiles and interviews (believe us, there are many more to choose from). First, start with something about Target Lady and Gilly, and then move on to these key points:

Is Kristen wearing a hat?
“in her hipster black knit beret”
“she was wearing a black wool cap that hid most of her dark blond hair”
“with perfectly manicured, shell-colored nails and her hair tucked into a knit billed cap”

Wait, is she … quiet?
“Wiig is shy, cool and pretty “
“In person, Kristen Wiig comes off as a little nervous”
“surprisingly introverted “
“her ever present humility”
“tasteful and unassuming.”

Is she so quiet she might actually have a self-esteem problem?
“Wiig, says her friend Drew Barrymore, who directed her in Whip It, ‘is different from a lot of comedians who sort of have a gargantuan, I-want-to-take-a-giant-bite-out-of-this feel.’ With her movie, Wiig is making a conscious play for above-the-title stardom, yet according to Apatow, ‘She tended to enjoy writing for other people more than herself.’”
“‘She was very comfortable giving others the joke. I had to convince her to give herself the joke,’ [Apatow said].”
“‘My personality, people don’t — they’re surprised when I tell them that I do comedy,” [Wiig] said … in general she was self-effacing. ‘Does anyone really care what I have to say?’ she said.”
“[Wiig] has ‘no idea’ whether she’ll want to continue on [SNL] when her contract expires. ‘People might be sick of me by then.’”
“‘She’s also beautiful[,’ says Jon Hamm]. ‘She’d be horrified if she knew I was saying that. This is a lady who can wear coconuts on her boobs and talk out of her butt, but as soon as you say she’s pretty, she gets super-embarrassed. She’s always shrinking into a hoodie or a knit cap and doesn’t want to be noticed, which is adorable.’”

Describe her characters:
“carefully observed, idiosyncratic and, yes, occasionally annoying “
“exuberantly weird characters”
“oversize, wacky-yet-true “

And then have her describe them:
“If I had to put them in a category like that, I would just say a lot of my characters are that person at a party that you don’t want to talk to, because maybe they’re talking too much. It’s fun for me to play people that are just kind of odd.”
“All my characters are someone you don’t want to talk to at a party … It’s always that person who’s being too loud, doesn’t have any social boundaries or says the wrong thing.”
“To me, it’s more fun to play the weird lady at the party.”

Attribute her success to a breakout role in Knocked Up:
“practically stole the show with that two-minute scene”
“it was a small scene in Knocked Up in 2007 that won Wiig fans outside the SNL audience”
“on SNL and in films like Knocked Up, in which she stole her few scenes as an undermining TV executive, she cornered a character-driven humor that is appealing without being mean spirited”
“Wiig has had small but memorable roles in comedy hits such as Knocked Up
“known to steal some scenes in smaller roles … like Knocked Up

Hey, who are the Groundlings?
“L.A.’s famous improv comedy troupe,”
“the troupe that trained Phil Hartman, Conan O’Brien and Lisa Kudrow”
“the storied Los Angeles improv troupe “

Compare her to Will Ferrell:
“In movies, she’s the anti-Will Ferrell”
“Like Will Ferrell she is not winking at the audience.”

And get Lorne Michaels to mention Dana Carvey:
“‘There are two people who arrived fully formed — her and Dana Carvey — where you saw what they did in their audition and you put it on the air,’ says SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels”
“‘She wasn’t 20, where you were looking just at potential and it wasn’t yet formed,’ Mr. Michaels said. ‘It was just all there, I think in the same way it was sort of all there in Dana Carvey.’”

“Kristen Wiig: The Anti-Comedian” [Time]
Can Kristen Wiig Turn On the Charm? [NYT]
Kristen Wiig, so weird on ‘SNL,’ goes (somewhat) normal for ‘Bridesmaids’ [LAT]
She’s Really Shy, but That’s a Secret (2008) [NYT]
Kristen Wiig of ‘SNL’ helps save the day in ‘MacGruber’ (2010) [USAT]
Kristen Wiig on Paul, Her Future at SNL and How Her Mom Doesn’t Like Gilly [Movieline]
Kristen Wiig is a natural in ‘Bridesmaids’ [Patriot Ledger]

How to Write a Profile of Kristen Wiig