Kristen Wiig on mental health, comedy and 'Ghostbusters'

Wed May 6, 2015 3:30pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As a prominent cast member of "Saturday Night Live" for a decade, Kristen Wiig played characters from political figures to pop stars, but in her latest film, the comedian taps into a more complex and serious side of life.

In "Welcome to Me," opening in U.S. theaters and video-on-demand on Friday, Wiig plays Alice Kleig, a secluded woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery and secures herself a televised talk show.

Wiig talked to Reuters about portraying mental health in a comedy and "Ghostbusters." Below are excerpts from the interview:

Q: How does the film tackle exploring Alice's mental health in the context of a dark comedy?

A: Considering that there were comedic moments in the movie, we had to have a lot of conversations about how that comedy was going to be portrayed because it was never our intention to make fun of her or have her be this crazy person that we laugh at.

She does have this disorder and she does suffer. At the same time, she legitimately does things that are funny and odd and it's OK to laugh because that's who she is as a person. But we wanted to be really respectful of that.

Q: How does this film comment on today's world?   Continued...

File photo of actress Kristen Wiig arrives at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California February 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok