When BlogHer got the chance to interview funny woman Wendi McLendon-Covey about Bridesmaids, we were thrilled. Here’s what she had to say.
BH: Okay Wendi. You’re seriously funny, like you just like ooze funny. Are you at an “11” comedy-wise all the time, or do you find that you’re more reserved in your regular everyday life?
WML: Thanks so much for saying that! In real life I try to take it down to a “9,” because anything more at a dinner party or wake is just showing off.
BH: Where do you draw your confidence from?
WML: I don’t have any confidence. But I do have a little bit of pride in having succeeded at something that my entire family said I was stupid for even attempting!
BH: Working with all of those incredible women – and ultimately, *we hope* changing the Hollywood landscape for women – did you guys know you were making a classic while it was happening? What was the dynamic like on set?
WML: We had no idea we were making a classic, we just hoped we were making a movie that people would see! The dynamic on set was great, because so many of us knew each other from the Groundling Theater in Los Angeles.
As for changing the landscape of comedy for women, I think it’s absurd that we get asked about that as much as we do. There have always been hilarious women in Hollywood: Mae West, Fanny Bryce, Carol Lombard, Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Gracie Allen, Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Kavner, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, the cast of Sex and the City, Katherine Hepburn, Judie Garland, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fischer, Madeline Kahn, Gilda Radner, Catherine O’Hara, Jane Curtain, Marilyn Monroe, etc. Believe me, I could go on for hours! In my opinion, the greatest thing that BRIDESMAIDS not only show that women are funny (and are capable of talking about more than shoe shopping), but that audiences will respond to interesting casting choices! I mean, doesn’t it seem like the same few women show up in all the movies? Boo! There’s lots of interesting broads out there!
BH: With so many great improv players in one place – how much of what ended up in the movie was on the page? Were you guys able to take your improv skills and run with it?
WML: We were definitely encouraged to improvise. In fact, we did a lot of improv in the audition. We were able to film every single scene the scripted way, then we filmed the improvised version. Whichever one was funniest stayed in the film.
BH: Being on the go as much as you are, what’s the most important thing about a well rounded diet for you?
WML: If I have a busy day of filming or press, I eat a huge protein-filled breakfast, protein and vegetables for lunch, and the same for dinner. I try not to drink a lot of caffeine during the day so I don’t have an energy crash, and I don’t snack unless I absolutely have to. Then it’s usually just a handful of almonds; anything else makes me feel like I need to take a nap.
BH: Okay, so you were a non-blogger at a blogging conference when you were there with Hillshire Farm. How freaked out were you? Do you read blogs?
WML: I was so impressed by the women I met – I’m inspired by people who create their own opportunities instead of waiting for things to happen, and so many of these women were making money for putting their genius ideas out there! I met lots of bloggers who were moms, and whose humor was so wickedly funny I could barely keep up with them when they interviewed me! I read lots of blogs, and I’m now inspired to develop my own blog. Now if I could only pull myself out of the vortex of Facebook …
BH: Hillshire Farm – why? What connected you to this brand? Do you just love meat, or what?
WML:I’m a carnivore, and I’m proud. I’ve actually been eating Hillshire Farm products for years, and honestly, I love the way they encourage people to cook for themselves. I get so annoyed when I hear people talking about how they “make reservations” for dinner because they don’t cook. What a bore! I love to cook – I wish I could do it all the time! Everyone needs to have a few recipes up their sleeve, and on the HF website there are so many recipes for meals that can be made in 10 minutes or less. So there’s no excuse for NOT learning how to feed yourself! (Plus, David O. Russell was directing the commercials, and I’d always wanted to work with him.)
BH: I’ll be really impressed if you can connect sandwich meat to the Bridesmaids DVD release. You have five seconds. GO!
WML: Make a bunch of Strawberry Turkey Wrap sandwiches (go to the Hillshire Farm website for the recipe), crack open some white wine or champagne, and invite your friends over to watch the 3 hours of extras on the BRIDESMAIDS DVD! Boom!