FASHION VILLAINS MUGATU, ALEXANYA JOIN FORCES IN “ZOOLANDER 2”

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, Zoolander 2

Comic geniuses Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig band together as the fabulous evil villains Jacobim Mugatu and Alexanya Atoz, respectively, in Paramount Pictures’ hilarious comedy sequel, “Zoolander 2.”

So iconic that he can be identified by silhouette, Jacobim Mugatu stands alongside some of the most revered and reviled villains in cinema history. With a penchant for outrageous outfits, small dogs, latte-throwing, and the ability to determine who is really hot right now, Mugatu is a truly unique character unlike any other.

Considered a newcomer at the time of the original “Zoolander” in 2001, comedian Will Ferrell embraced the opportunity to create such an absurd character from the ground up. “All these characters in the fashion world are so much fun because it’s fertile ground,” says Ferrell. “Mugatu is an important character for me because it was the first time I had the chance to do a big broad character that ended up resonating with people.”

For Ferrell, donning the infamous wig again was an interesting experience after almost 15 years. “It was strange at first to get back into the character and the outfits and then it became strange that it wasn’t strange anymore,” he laughs. “I had forgotten how intense Mugatu is. He is never relaxed and is always screaming at someone because nothing is ever quite right, but those are such fun characteristics to play.”

With Mugatu behind bars, the world of fashion was left without a leader; a nation of fashionistas left to (gasp!) decide for themselves what was is in-style. Luckily, the void was filled to epic proportions by fashion’s new queen, the incomparable Alexanya Atoz.

A fashion magnate so cherished and revered that she appears to float instead of walk (walking is just so regular), Alexanya dictates all things fashion related; what trends to follow, patterns to wear, and determines the ultimate standards for beauty. When Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are personally invited by Alexanya to appear at her protégé Don Atari’s upcoming show, they are made aware of the magnitude of this invitation and prepare to make their big return to the runway.

Larger than life by design, Alexanya Atoz is a walking art installation. Alexanya doesn’t just wear clothes; she carefully curates every aspect of her appearance and takes every opportunity to make a statement. Ever on the quest for eternal beauty, she has made every attempt to reverse the aging process and the result is a plumped, injected, stretched, tanned face that nods to society’s obsession with youth and cosmetic surgery. “Alexanya is a plastic surgery disaster on the quest for eternal youth and beauty, so overly injected and Botoxed that she can barely speak,” says screenwriter Justin Theroux.

Acclaimed actress and “Saturday Night Live” alumna Kristen Wiig was chosen for the role, and used Alexanya’s physical eccentricities to help define the character. “I’ve never played anyone like this before, an evil queen of sorts. The script describes her physically as having way too much plastic surgery that inhibited the way she talks. Her dialogue was written out phonetically which I read as having a Russian feel to it, and we came around to the idea that she just doesn’t care to pronounce words correctly.”

To achieve Alexanya’s extreme look, celebrated make-up artist Mark Coulier and his team created a wildly unique look using extensive prosthetics with a lengthy application process, which combined with her extravagant wigs, hair pieces, and complex wardrobe, was a process that required up to four hours. “You just have to Zen out for a while. I’ve never worn prosthetics like this before; it’s pretty amazing. It’s weird to look at yourself in the mirror and see your eyes but it’s not your face,” remarks Wiig.

Wiig and Ferrell share a special moment on screen, sure to be remembered as one of the year’s most memorable on-screen kisses. On the day, director and co-star Ben Stiller gave minimal direction as to the specifics of the kiss and was surprised by just how deep the two comedic powerhouses went for it. “We talked a little about what we would try beforehand and I told him something along the lines of ‘Do whatever. Lick away because it’s not really my skin.’ I don’t think Ben really realized what we were gonna do because after we did it the first time, he seemed a little surprised. We really went for it,” laughs Wiig.

I didn’t really give them any direction at all— Will and Kristen have such a great trust together and happen to be two of the funniest people ever and what they did was one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen. It is one of the funniest things in the movie,” concludes Stiller.

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 24, 2016, “Zoolander 2” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

KRISTEN WIIG INSPIRES IN “THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY”

kristen wiig in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

The immensely talented Kristen Wiig stars opposite Ben Stiller in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” where Stiller plays the titular character about a modern daydreamer inspired to live out his dreams to save not just his job but that of the woman whom he secretly cares for.

Mitty is an ordinary magazine photo editor who takes a regular mental vacation from his ho-hum existence by disappearing into a world of fantasies electrified by dashing heroism, passionate romance and constant triumphs over danger.  But when Mitty and the co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) whom he secretly adores stand in actual peril of losing their jobs, Walter must do the unimaginable:  take real action – sparking a global journey more extraordinary than anything he could have ever dreamed up.

Stiller saw Wiig’s role not just as a comic relief, but a major catalyst for Mitty’s journey.  “It is Walter’s tenuous connection with Cheryl that becomes the impetus pushing him out into the world,” he explains.  As such, it demanded someone who could leap from the everyday world of a single mom in fear of losing her job into the high-wire drama of Walter’s daydreams and back again, without ever losing a beat, or the core of who Cheryl is.  To do all this, while also creating the snowballing effect of a relationship in its first throes of attraction, the filmmakers cast one of today’s most intriguing comediennes:  Kristen Wiig.

Stiller had her in mind from the get-go.  “Kristen is someone who is so, so relatable,” he comments.  “She’s so real, and so naturally funny, and I also really wanted to see her doing something like this – something that’s not quite the broad, crazy comedy we’re used to.  Her personality is so likeable and warm, I felt she could instantly give the audience a shorthand as to why she and Mitty might actually belong together.”

He continues:  “Kristen is also terrific at playing many different attitudes and characters. She was able to juxtapose that kind of comedy with Cheryl’s very real personality where she’s just a little bit intrigued by Walter. I think her character gets to something that audiences really connect with:  the idea of that some of the littlest things that happen to us in life –even just saying hello to somebody when they give you a certain look –can affect us in big ways.”

She goes on:  “It’s one of those stories that leaves you feeling like there’s a great big, world for you out there – and that if there are things in life we really want to do, whether it’s connect with our families or travel the globe, it’s worth trying to go out and do them.”

It was easy for Wiig to see why Cheryl might have just the tiniest twinges of interest in Walter that blossom into something more as they embark together on solving the mystery of the lost negative.  “I think she likes that he leads a quieter kind of life and that he also kind of sees something better out there,” she explains.“They both are leading lives that maybe they wish were a little spicier, so it’s perfect that they end up going on this unexpected adventure together.”

Kristen Wiig_THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

Wiig especially enjoyed bursting into Mitty’s daydreams, with Cheryl appearing in numerous thrilling scenarios that took Wiig to new places., including performing a one-woman Bowie song.  “I loved doing the fantasy sequences,” she says. “In one of Walter’s first fantasies, he runs into a burning building and saves my three-legged dog.  I’d never been in a scene like that before –one involving big explosions and fires — and it was really exciting for me as an actor.”

Stiller’s visual aplomb amazed Wiig as well. “The look of the movie is so very specific and beautiful, which is part of what makes it so special. Ben had a vision for every single shot, every frame,” she says.

Wiig was especially impressed by what Stiller brought to Mitty. “His Walter Mitty is a guy who really does have a voice — he just doesn’t quite know how to use it yet. Ben brings so much warmth to the character that you just want to hug him and beat up everybody who’s mean to him.”

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” opens this January 22 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

From ‘Bridesmaids’ to ‘Despicable Me 2’ Kristen Wiig shows her thousand faces and voices.

kristen_wiig_as_lucy

The comedienne who brings life to Lucy is the same actor who played a pivotal role in Despicable Me. The producers and directors were so delighted by Kristen Wiig’s work as Southern belle Miss Hattie, the acerbic orphanage matron in the first film, that they asked her back to play the female lead in this chapter. Wiig explains how her participation in the project came about: “I was so happy that I was able to be in both films, and when I heard that they wanted me to play a different character in the second one, I was beyond thrilled that they would give me the opportunity.”

As was Steve Carell, Wiig was a bit taken aback by the global success of Despicable Me. She relays: “The first film was unexpected, and I loved that the lead character is this horrible villain. Still, it’s a sweet, funny story with great music about this awkward guy opening his heart and finding himself, as well as a family. It has a great message and has a lot of action and comedy.” Discussing this chapter, she offers: “People want to see where it left off. At the end of the first film, you wonder how it’s going to work with this new family. Now, you see them as a unit and you see them evolve. Despicable Me 2 is funny and has lots of action, and it’s a smart, sweet story.”

Kristen Wiig Dispicable Me 2

While the actress is known as the woman of a thousand faces and voices on Saturday Night Live—as well as from a film career that skyrocketed with the release of Bridesmaids (which she also co-wrote)—Wiig admits there is a freedom to vocalizing animation. She says: “Physically you can be doing anything with your face or body because it isn’t about how you look. The scripted lines and the story were so smart that you could just have fun with it.”

Her filmmaking team was thrilled with her vocal work for the quirky heroine who immediately bests Gru upon first match up. Provides Meledandri: “Lucy is one of the most surprising and distinctive female characters that I have seen in an animated film. She is incredibly selfdirected, and though she may look a bit nutty, she is actually quite powerful when it comes to getting her way. I can’t imagine anybody other than Kristen Wiig portraying her. Lucy is unlike any Kristen character I’ve seen before, and when you watch her in the film, you realize that the animators and our directors were taking great inspiration from the voice track that she provided.”

kristen_wiig_as_lucy

The producer appreciated the arc that Paul and Daurio created for Gru and Lucy. He says: “A wonderful thing happens through the course of the movie. As Gru begins to realize that he actually likes his new partner, and these are feelings that sneak up on him, the audience’s response is moving in sync with Gru’s response. The chemistry of Steve’s and Kristen’s performances is undeniable.” Kristen Wiig starred in the critically acclaimed summer breakout film Bridesmaids, she. Bridesmaids is currently the top “R”-rated female comedy of all time. Directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, Bridesmaids has become Apatow’s highest-grossing production.

Wiig was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical. The film has also received significant awards recognition, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Wiig captured the audience’s attention with universal high praise as Katherine Heigl’s passiveaggressive boss in Apatow’s smash-hit comedy Knocked Up. Wiig is currently starring in Cartoon Network’s reboot of The Looney Tunes Show, supplying the voice of Bugs Bunny’s gal pal, Lola Bunny.

Kristen Wiig Dispicable Me 2 with minions

“Despicable Me 2” is released and distributed by Universal Pictures and United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp.