Paul Feig On Improvization, Bridesmaids, And Not Screwing Up On Behalf Of Women Everywhere
It’s pretty clear from Paul Feig’s A.V. Club interview that, despite all the gallons of diarrhea and vomit promised us in the trailers, the Bridesmaids director is taking his role in the filmmaking process very, very seriously. “It feels very personal to me, and I was also just really invested in wanting to make a really good woman’s movie,” the Freaks And Geeks creator said of the upcoming Kristen Wiig vehicle. “I felt the pressure of that too, because it’s not often that a studio will allow a movie that’s all driven by women to be made, and so I felt the pressure of, ‘If I screw this up, it’s going to fuck things up for women.’ [Laughs.] And then just selfishly I want to keep making movies like this with strong female characters that aren’t just in service to the men in the movie.”
Feig gives an exceptional number of shout-outs to Wiig and the cast, explaining, “The great thing about working with really good comedy people—and especially people who come from improv—is there’s not an ethos of, ‘I’m on my own. I want to get all the laughs. I don’t want the other person to get laughs,’ because they’re all depending on each other. Every one of the women in the movie comes from the improv tradition. I don’t know how much Rose [Byrne] has trained in improv, but she’s like a master improviser.” As for Melissa McCarthy’s Fight Club and golf cap aficionado bridesmaid, the director says McCarthy “came in with a version of the character that wasn’t really on the page. It was written as this nervous weirdo who’s kind of tagging along and wanting to be best friends with Annie. Then Melissa came in and laid down this powerful character who’s at first sort of ambiguous in her sexuality until you realize she’s kind of man-hungry and a force of nature.” So now you know who to thank for your favorite part of the movie.