'Bridesmaids' Star Talks Sequels & Strippers!
September 20, 2011
Although the world was pleasantly surprised by how intelligent Bridesmaids turned out to be (especially given all the Hangover comparisons), discerning comedy aficionados knew better given the top-shelf comedians who rounded out the cast. And while it continued to flaunt the star-power of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, the box office juggernaut finally gave two actors their rightful time to shine.
By this point, newly minted Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy is a household name and thanks to a jam-packed 2012, Wendi McLendon-Covey is on the same trajectory. Not only will she return to the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement this fall, but she co-stars with Cameron Diaz & Jennifer Lopez in 2012's What To Expect When You're Expecting. However, it is a role alongside Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer & Channing Tatum's buff bods in the scandalous stripper tale Magic Mike that really got everyone's ears to perk up!
TheInsider.com: In the run up to today's DVD release, lots of outtakes have been unleashed on the public. It's clear they let you guys improvise a lot, but did anything get left on the cutting room floor that you're still bummed about?
Wendi McLendon-Covey: Tons of stuff. There was a whole scene where we registered with Maya's character at Bloomingdales. There was this whole run on shrimp forks and the importance of them – how you have to register for them. It was really funny. And there was even more with me and Ellie [Kemper] on the plane that didn’t make it in. I was just heartbroken over it. We get more and more drunk and the ramp up to the kiss was cringe-worthy, ugly, stupid crying, snot flying. That killed me. And Ellie was so brilliant in those bits – her marriage got more and more bizarre and cultish. It was so fun.
Insider: Since it came out, Bridesmaids also became the #1 Grossing Female Comedy of All-Time. Is it strange to you that every conversation about the movie's success includes a caveat about the cast's gender?
Wendi: It's funny, we first came across all this talk about "women in comedy" When we started doing press for the film. So many questions felt like, "women aren’t funny, but you guys managed – how?" [laughs] It was so annoying. I'm amazed it's even a topic for discussion. I just think that up until now, people have taken the safe cliche route with women in comedy. I don’t know why that is – maybe men are writing the films, editing the films or making the decisions to say, "I don’t believe women would talk this way, and middle America isn’t comfortable with that." Women since The Garden of Eden and talk like this is a slap in the face to Laverne & Shirley, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Fanny Brice, Mae West and Carole Lombard. There’s a very deep well of funny women.
Insider: No matter how you classify it, the success of this film has really raised everyone's profile. I mean, the consensus is that Melissa McCarthy just won an Emmy for Bridesmaids.
Wendi: Oh, I think that’s a very valid point. Only because Mike & Molly doesn’t how what she can do. Bridesmaids did. She’s been at this a long time and believe me, I’ve only seen Melissa play characters like Megan. So to me, seeing her act normal as Molly is the weirdest thing. I’ve only seen her play the freak and I think it was time the world saw that!
Insider: You're back filming Rules of Engagement right now, how's that going?
Wendi: It's been so much fun – I did six episodes last season and they keep bringing me back, knock on wood. It's so fun because my character is such a dork. She has this love/hate thing with David Spade’s character. We accidentally get married when drunk on a cruise, as one will [laughs], and I refuse to leave when we return. I want to make our marriage work, so it's really fun.
Insider: You also just snagged a role in Magic Mike -- a movie that pretty much every woman and gay man wants to work on.
Wendi: I know, I've heard a lot of that. For the record, I'm not gonna smuggle a camera onto the set and risk getting fired, but I have had the request. I only work one day and my part is not huge, but I am excited.
Insider: Ok, so you only work one day, but how many will you be on set for?
Wendi: [laughs] Oh, get out of my mind! I am planning on hiding in the bushes on different random days.
Insider: There has been so much press about the casting, but little about the story -- tonally, is it a comedy?
Wendi: I would put it in the category of Boogie Nights. When it's funny, it's totally incidental. It's not a comedy per se, but there are funny things that happen because that's just how life is.
Insider: And who do you play?
Wendi: I play a Florida business lady who needs to get her car detailed.
Insider: Is that a stripper euphemism?
Wendi: No, that's not [laughs]. She literally needs to get her car detailed, but will it be played with ulterior motives? I hope so [laughs].
Insider: Earlier this year you also shot a role in the ensemble, What To Expect When You're Expecting -- did you take that job just to decrease your Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon number?
Wendi: That's it! You got me! [laughs] Everyone keeps asking me how it was to work with Cameron Diaz and I always disappoint them. It's one of those movies -- like Love, Actually -- where there's a lot of different storylines that converge in Atlanta.
Insider: Who do you play and who do you share scenes with?
Wendi: I play a mother and, actually, Thomas Lennon is my husband! We're second-stringers compared to Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro – they're the big people in our storyline. But I play Jennifer's friend and boss, who has to fire her right as she spending all this money on baby-equipment and adoption. It's fun but the movie will make you cry. It really will. Jennifer's storyline especially will make you cry. It's so beautiful.
Insider: I love that you're reuniting with Reno 911 co-star Thomas Lennon in this -- think we've seen the last of the Nevada police department?
Wendi: I think we have. I think the moment has passed. I can't imagine the circumstances that would make that come together again – we've all scattered into the wind. But it had a good run – longer than people thought it would.
Insider: On a similar tip, talk of a Bridesmaids sequel has been rumored since opening weekend. Any truth to that yet?
Wendi: There have been discussions. There just has to be a story that's as good or better that Kristen [Wiig] and Annie [Mumlo, co-writer] want to tell. It lies in their hands. But in the realm of what we've set up with these women there could be divorces, affairs, pregnancies, weird experimentation and number of weird, juicy things. I can think of lots of ideas, they just have to ask.
Bridesmaids is now available on DVD.