style file, casy wilson q&a

Photo: Courtesy of Casey Wilson

Casey Wilson Doesn’t Mind If Her Dad Shoots Her Next Film

We first caught up with comedienne Casey Wilson during her freshman season at SNL. Since then the funny girl has been cast alongside Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (in the upcoming Julie & Julia) and named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch.” The hype for perhaps her biggest project— Bride Wars, the film she co-wrote with her longtime writing partner June Diane Raphael—has been building at a rapid pace, thanks in part to footage of co-stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway prepping for some major cinematic catfights. Bride Wars opens in theaters this Friday, and Wilson took some time before the big night to talk to about Don Draper, her fount of inspiration, and channeling cougars. And—attention Hollywood— Wilson and Raphael are looking for a producer for their next script; we’re calling this one a wise investment.

What was the script-writing process like for Bride Wars?

The idea had already been out there. A producer saw me and June performing in this two-woman show we have, Rode Hard and Put Away Wet, in Aspen at the Comedy Arts HBO Festival—this was four years ago—and told us she was looking for people to rewrite Bride Wars. We hadn’t written anything before, but we put together a pitch and basically went over to Kate Hudson’s house. We pitched it to her, and she hired us. God love her.

Had you worked with her before?

No, we’d never met her. She wanted to do something with female leads where they get to be the comedic heroines. In so many movies the guys get to be funny, and Kate was always playing the girlfriend who’s just wagging her finger, saying, “Oh, you’re so crazy!” to the guy. She didn’t want to do that anymore. [June Diane Raphael and I] really want to make movies with female leads, so it was a good match.

Did you have any wedding-like moments of anxiety watching your script get made? Like, “She’s supposed to be carrying pink peonies, not red ones!”

Yeah, we had a lot of those moments, but at the end of the day we were the screenwriters. Of course, we wanted to be the production supervisors, the costumer, the director, the editor; we wanted to do everything. We had grand ideas for the weddings, some of which panned out, some of which did not. I feel like making this movie was like your own wedding: Most of it you look back and love, but if you got married again, there are some things you would change.

It seems like creating strong roles for women is something you’re really passionate about. Did you come into comedy with that agenda?

For my writing partner and me, the only thing we’re really interested in writing is funny roles for women. When a lot of executives read our scripts they’ll say, “You know, the guys really don’t get to do a lot in this.” And it’s not like us saying, “Take that, Hollywood,” but girls don’t get to do anything in other scripts, so why can’t it be that the guys get to be eye candy? What was great about Bride Wars is that Kate and Anne really got to do a two-hander, like a Wedding Crashers.

Besides your calling card role on SNL—the paraplegic stripper—what other characters do you love playing?

I love doing Cougar Den, which is this cougar talk show we did where Amy [Poehler], Kristen [Wiig], Cameron Diaz, and I played cougars. I don’t know if I have many more crank characters yet, but I’m working on it. I want to do some sort of Real Housewives of Orange County, or New York, or Atlanta parody.

I loved the Mad Men sketch—you, Don Draper, and Roger Sterling all in one skit. Big crush moment.

I love Christina Hendricks. I just literally had one line as her, but I think she looks so fabulous on that show. I love her clothes, her look, her body type, everything. It took ten minutes for them to strap me into that costume. I could not sit down. And, yes, Jon Hamm is dreamy.

After Obama was elected, comedians started bemoaning the end of the Bush presidency as the end of good material. Surely there’s got to be something dire to look forward to.

Well, life handed us Palin, and Joe Biden, and Rod Blagojevich. I do think little gems keep popping up no matter what. There are always people coming out of the woodwork at just the right time, it seems.

Besides the front page of the newspaper, where do you go for material?

I’ve found a lot of great stuff at weddings. Any event like that where a lot of different people come together is fun. My writing partner and I are going to go on a road trip over the summer because when you’re on the show, a lot of the people you deal with are agents and managers. You don’t want your sketches to become about this insider-y entertainment world. People want to laugh at universal things. It’s fun to get out there and hang out with people and not just work all the time.

Are you and Raphael working on another film?

We are. We’re working on a film we wrote for ourselves, which we’re hopefully going to shoot in August. It’s going to be super, super low budget.

Do you have a production company behind it?

Not as of yet. We’re taking it out in February and just hoping for the best. We’re fine if it’s a thing my dad shoots on his Camcorder. We just kind of want to make our own thing—while we still have our looks.
—Alison Baenen