Kristen Wiig isn't really a liar. She just plays one in the movies sometimes. One of those times was in Knocked Up, playing a TV producer clumsily nudging Katherine Heigl to lose weight. Another is in Ghost Town, opening Friday, in which she plays a tan-obsessed doctor who doesn't really want to tell Ricky Gervais that he, er, died during a routine colonoscopy.
Both are small, scene-stealing roles of the sort that lead to bigger things down the line.
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"Those two characters are very similar in the way that they're not likable. Neither one of them is honest," Wiig says. "I might be getting typecast as that person, unfortunately. Which is so funny, because I can't tell a lie in real life."
There's little chance Wiig will be typecast as anything, mainly because her high-profile gig on Saturday Night Live sees her spinning through characters on a regular basis. On this past week's season-opener, Wiig first appeared as a daffy, home-schooling creationist mom, then came back minutes later as an awkward, obnoxious teenager.
Over her four seasons on the show, Wiig also has turned in hilarious impersonations of Drew Barrymore, Jessica Simpson, Nancy Pelosi and a yogurt-happy Jamie Lee Curtis. But like most performers, she still wants to do more.
"I love my job on SNL, I love comedy. I like the idea that what we do on the show makes people happy and makes people laugh," she says, sitting in a hotel room during the Toronto International Film Festival early this month.
"At the same time I'm very touched by dramatic movies and performances, and I would love the opportunity to do something dark and romantic and dramatic," Wiig says.
Chances are she'll get the chance. Just five years ago, Wiig, 35, who was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., was a relatively unknown performer with the Groundlings improv group in Los Angeles. But since joining Saturday Night Live, she's been gaining traction in movies.
This past summer she did indeed shoot a drama, All Good Things, with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. She also has the Ryan Reynolds comedy Adventureland coming, as well the Mike Judge comedy Extract.
And she just completed Whip It! alongside Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page in Michigan, playing a veteran roller derby queen.
So what happens if Wiig's movie career skyrockets and she becomes one of those famous people who get parodied on Saturday Night Live?
She's not worried.
"I don't think they've ever done that," she says. "I think it's sort of like you were on the show and you're safe."