‘Wonder Woman 1984’: Why Kristen Wiig Wanted to Do an Action Movie — and Play the Villain

In Wonder Woman 1984, former Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig plays Barbara, a self-conscious colleague of Gal Gadot’s Diana. She eventually turns into the movie’s villain, Cheetah.

Wiig is mainly known for her work in comedy and often, in smaller-budget indie movies. Why did the actor want to join the cast of a big action film like Wonder Woman 1984?

How Kristen Wiig got cast as Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984
Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984 | Clay Enos/DC Comics

When Wiig sat down with The New York Times for a recent interview, she explained that getting a part in a blockbuster was “an aspiration, for sure.”

“It was huge on my list of things I wanted to do,” the Wonder Woman 1984 star said. “I love big action movies and I love superhero movies.” Wiig explained that she’s a fan of a lot of comic-book-based films. But seeing Patty Jenkins’ first Wonder Woman was an especially memorable experience:

I loved all of Chris Nolan’s Batman movies and all the Avengers movies, Deadpool — you name it, I’ve seen it. I saw Wonder Woman in the theater when it opened, and when she came over that trench, the crowd was cheering. And it was a female superhero, so I got really emotional about it.

So, how did Wiig achieve her goal of filming an action movie? The director of Wonder Woman 1984 reached out to her.

“I got a call from my agent that Patty Jenkins wanted to talk to me,” Wiig told The Times. “And I was like, ‘just tell her yes, no matter what it is.'”

Wiig didn’t even know at the time that the part was related to a Wonder Woman sequel.

“I was hoping it was a Wonder Woman thing, but I didn’t know anything about it,” she continued. “I didn’t know if I would have one line — if she wanted me to be the crazy neighbor next door that’s like, ‘Goodbye, Diana!'”

Wiig is not exactly known for action movies

RELATED: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Star Did All Their Own Stunts: ‘You Couldn’t Find a Better Stunt Person To Cover Her if You Scoured the World’

Wiig also shared why she enjoyed getting to play a villain in the new movie.

“I always love bad guys that you’re rooting for a little bit, where you understand why they’re bad,” the SNL alum said in The New York Times interview. Wiig believes that her character in Wonder Woman 1984 is relatable in as many ways as she is villainous. She told the publication:

The thing that I loved about her is that there’s always Barbara in there. Even when she fully becomes Cheetah, you can see Barbara in there and Diana can see Barbara in there. I loved that conflict that it puts her in, and puts the audience in, because she’s so likable and nervous and insecure. We all have moments where we’ve felt like Barbara before.

The ‘SNL’ alum on playing Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Wonder Woman 1984 cast member Kristin Wiig
Kristen Wiig attends “TimesTalks Presents An Evening With Kristen Wiig And Shira Piven” on Apr. 28, 2015 | Nomi Ellenson/FilmMagic

RELATED: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Star Kristen Wiig Knows She Is an Unlikely Fit for a Superhero Movie

Wiig also acknowledged that this part in Jenkins’ film is a rather big leap for her.

“There were definitely times where I was very self-aware of just how big the role was,” she told The New York Times. “Truthfully, I don’t go on the internet, but I know there were people that were, like, surprised that I was playing this role.” However, Wiig tries to not let any of that get to her. In fact, she thinks the challenge of it makes her better.

“… ultimately I do want to take more risks and I think it’s important for me to feel that nervousness when I’m doing stuff,” the Wonder Woman 1984 actor said. “It makes me find something deep inside that I didn’t know was there.”