You may recognize Annie Mumolo as the neurotic passenger who goaded Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids character’s fear of flying in the film’s hilarious airplane scene. What you don't know is that Mumolo also co-wrote the entire script—nominated for best original screenplay at this weekend's Academy Awards—with close friend Wiig. Mumolo chats with us about what it’s like to write with Wiig, why she’d be okay with not being invited to another wedding, and what didn’t make the script. (Hint: it’s got something to do with Christian Bale.)
What’s the key to writing comedy movies these days?
ANNIE MUMOLO: I write what makes me laugh and hope it makes other people laugh, too. When it feels real, from the emotional place of the characters, then comedy usually comes forth from there.
What was it like to work with Wiig?
AM: We have been writing together since we were both in Groundlings, producing a lot of material very quickly. And we’d been making movies in our garage for years. When the process of making this screenplay came along, we hadn’t been schooled in the process of the format, per se, but we knew how to get something funny on paper. For months at a time, Kristen and I would hole up at each other’s houses. Writing with Kristen was easy because we think the same way as far as what’s funny. We finish each other’s thoughts and can pick up when the other gets tired.
When you’re writing something like Bridesmaids, how do you draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s too far over the edge?
AM: There were so many more things I would’ve liked to include that got cut. Like, we had written a fantasy sequence where while the girls are all trying on the bridesmaid dresses, Kristen fantasizes she’s at the wedding with all these men fawning over her. So she goes running off through a forest and she ultimately finds Christian Bale, who is shirtless, and he’s combing her hair on a bearskin rug—it gets a little weird. But we replaced all that with the food poisoning scene, which worked out great.
You’ve forever changed the way bridal parties are viewed. Will you ever be invited to be in a wedding again?
AM: I don’t know. I don’t know if I can afford to go to one, given how expensive it is these days. Weddings have become very advanced, financially aggressive experiences. Someone says “We’re going to go to Turkey for two weeks for our wedding” and you think, Who can swing the price of all of that?
Will there be a Bridesmaids sequel?
AM: Sadly, there won’t. I feel like when you finish a six-year process, as we have with this movie, I don’t know how you re-engage and do the exact same thing again. It was very special for us and we don’t want to mess with what it is. We just want to let it be on its own.
Look for Annie Mumolo in Judd Apatow’s next film, This Is Forty.