It was the breakout comedy that made Kristen Wiig a household name, but the writer and star of Bridesmaids has admitted that she faced pressure to add in one of the film’s most notorious scenes.
Wiig says she and co-writer Annie Mumolo never originally included the sequence of the 2011 film where the bridal party get food poisoning and end up vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea while trying on gowns in a swanky boutique.
The episode famously ends with bride-to-be Lillian (Maya Rudolph) squatting down in the middle of a crowded street, dressed in the wedding frock of her dreams.
Now, Wiig – who rose to fame with improvised sketches on TV show Saturday Night Live before catching her big break with the concept for Bridesmaids, a script she wrote in six days – says she was compelled to add in the scene to satisfy the demand for a more bloke-y sense of humour.
“When people say, ‘Oh, we're gonna give more female-centered movies a chance’, you're not reading the fine print, which is, ‘Oh, but, they have to be like this’. They want to see women acting like guys,” Wiig tells The Hollywood Reporter, in an edition of its Awards Chatter podcast this week.
“The [Bridesmaids food poisoning] scene was not our idea and it was not in the original script and we didn't love it,” she adds. “It was strongly suggested for us to put that in there. I didn't want to see people sh**ng and puking.”
Bridesmaids was considered a game-changer when it first came out six years ago, in the fresh way that it depicted women and weddings in a comedy written by women.
The “blokey” style of comedy was one of the reasons why it stood out, breaking the mould as it did on sickly-sweet “girly” wedding comedies so prevalent at the time.
”Bridesmaids was a comic breath of fresh air, to the point where we laughed so much we almost felt a little smug our other friends weren’t going to get wind of it for another few weeks,” Stylist wrote at the time.
“We also decided that we wanted to be there when they saw it, just so we could see their faces. Like The Hangover and Superbad, the roaringly silly successes starring (and largely written for) men, it wasn’t saccharine or cheesy.”
It’s interesting to note that, in retrospect, Wiig feels some elements of that male-centric humour were foisted upon her by a male-orientated crew, to pacify a wider audience.
As with all aspects of gender representation in Hollywood, it seems we still have some work to do when it comes to not only creating a comedy that stars and is written by women, but is also written without caveat or condition of how that will look.
And even someone as established as Wiig still has a challenge on her hands when it comes to tackling that barrier. As she said when Bridesmaids came out: “Call me crazy but I think there have been so many funny women for so many years. A film poster with six women on it shouldn’t be groundbreaking.”