Kristen Wiig takes on TIFF 2014 with her new “kind of comedyWelcome to Me and talks about how the role scared her into doing something different.

Kisten Wiig has already established herself as a brilliant comedienne and now she’s proving that she’s more than just a funny girl. Her latest movie, Welcome To Me, premieres at TIFF today and it’s a comedy, but not really.

“I don’t like to call it a comedy,”director Shira Piven told The Los Angeles Times. “It’s not a comedy-comedy.”

Welcome To Me follows the life-changing events of a quiet woman called Alice (Wiig) who suffers from borderline personality disorder. Her daily routine consists of religious viewings of Oprah and meticulously watching her diet until she unexpectedly wins $85 million in the local lottery, quits taking her medication, moves into a casino and hires a local production company to help her create a show about her life. The show consists of Alice reenacting past heartaches and happiness for seemingly no reason, but it gets people interested and she suddenly finds herself a local celebrity.

“Alice has all this money and she wants to make a talk show about her life. We may think that’s crazy because we wouldn’t’t think of doing that,” Wiig told The Los Angeles Times. “It makes people uncomfortable when people make decisions that are not what other people would do, that society would want them to do.”

The role was made for Wiig, and Piven wouldn’t image anyone else playing the multidimensional character, even though it meant waiting more than three months for Wiig to find the time to read the script. “I had never read anything like it,” Wiig said. “It was one of those scripts that could have really gone a million different ways. I think it was kind of funny and sad, and I like the combination of those two things. It was also a bit scary. I knew when I was reading it that I wanted to do it.”

According to Piven, the story focuses on mental illness and how it relates to society as a culture.“It’s a movie about the illness in our culture, which is all the reality TV shows and this crazy cult of personality. And that’s when I feel the movie sparks; it’s a crazy explosion of these two things meeting.We’re all capable of change, but change doesn’t’t come easily. I think her change is believable. It’s the way people usually change. They take a step. And by the end of the movie, she’s taken a step forward,” Piven continued, talking about the ambiguous ending of the film. “For me, especially, I didn’t’t want her to suddenly just get better because that feels like a betrayal of what really happens in life.”

Adds Wiig, “I have my own thoughts on that,” Wiig said about the movie’s ending. “I think it’s one of those things where people have different reactions to it and I want to give that to them. It’s kind of nice to have it be whatever people want it to be.”


Welcome To Me also stars James Marsden, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack.


Photo of Wiig ©WireImage/Getty for TIFF




—Sarah Khan

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