Just how big is Katy Perry? In an era when record sales are in unrecoverable free fall, her first album, One of the Boys (2008)—or her second, if you count the eponymous 2001 gospel record that she released under her birth name of Katy Hudson—sold more than five million copies. Her second (or third), Teenage Dream (2010), has sold almost as many, but even more significantly, digital sales of individual songs off the record have reached upwards of 28 million, buoyed by the near-ubiquity of five No. 1 singles (“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” and “Last Friday Night [T.G.I.F.]”), and placing it in a tie with Michael Jackson’s Bad (1987) for spawning the most No. 1 singles from the same album.
By now, Perry’s path to phenom-hood is well known. Perry grew up in Santa Barbara, the second of three children born to evangelical ministers. She spent most of her early years shielded by her parents from the wayward influences of secular culture (i.e., no MTV, no Madonna, no deviled eggs), but soon discovered them on her own, got into music, and started singing and performing. She went to Nashville with her mother at 15, recorded the aforementioned singer-songwritery gospel album for a Christian imprint that went bust, then got signed and dropped by two other labels before dying her blonde hair dark, trading in her T-shirts and jeans for cleavage-y candy-colored mini-dresses, and arriving at the winky Kool-Aid sex-bomb incarnation of Katy Perry with which we’ve all now become familiar—the one who shrewdly parlayed the unexpected success of songs like “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay” into a career that might now be best described as an exploding cottage industry awash in bubbles and glitter.
Perry’s songs are fun, upbeat, and frothy—a little teen-girl wacky, a little cartoon cute, a little Harajuku rebellious—but they’re also shot through with a razor-sharp wit. She has little time for longing or dwelling or vulnerability for its own sake; there is no quest for a love and happiness that might never come, no search for salvation from loneliness and melancholy in a cruel, chaotic world. Instead, she prefers to play—with hooks, with words, with her own sexuality—so much so that it’s easy to get lost ricocheting amongst all of the puns and double entendres. (Sample lyric from “Peacock”: “Come on baby let me see / What you hiding underneath / Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock . . . / I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock.”) But as easy, breezy, and infectious as Perry’s songs can be, beneath the surface lurks a sea of mixed emotions, jumbled motives, and contradictory impulses complicated enough to fill a Carole King record. Perhaps what is most striking about Perry is her holistic hyper-awareness of pop stardom itself as a state where the aural and the visual work in concert to create the bright light of the star, and where swiping a hook from Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” and wearing a custom-made bra that shoots whipped cream out of your nipple areas—both of which Perry does in the video for “California Gurls”—are shrewd gestures made even more evocative when done together with conviction.
In January, a sixth single off Teenage Dream, “The One That Got Away,” reached the top spot on the Billboard pop charts, capping a banner year for Perry—albeit one that has not been without its ebbs: In December, her husband of 15 months, the British actor and comedian Russell Brand, filed for divorce. Nevertheless, Perry has soldiered on, wrapping her “California Dreams” tour, and preparing for the release this month of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, an expanded version of the album featuring an array of bonus tracks and extras.
Back home in Los Angeles, where she was fresh off a plane from South East Asia after playing the final two shows of her tour, the 27-year-old Perry spoke to Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids star (and newly Oscar-nominated screenwriter) Kristen Wiig about coming to terms with her religious upbringing, the new challenges she faces, and why, despite the occasional crisis of faith, she has never stopped believing.
KRISTEN WIIG: Is this Katy Perry?
KATY PERRY: Kind of . . . [laughs] What’s up, chicken butt? Are you in the middle of some craziness at work?
WIIG: No, we don’t have a show this week. I’m at home.. What’s going on with you? Are you in L.A.?
PERRY: Yeah. I just got off of a flight from the Philippines about two hours ago. I’m being hung by my ankles right now—I need to do something to keep myself up.
WIIG: Were you singing and dancing around in little shorts?
PERRY: Yeah, like 15 different outfits in an hour-and-a-half period . . . Maybe 12 outfits—I’m exaggerating. I did a show in Indonesia and another one in Manila, and those were the last two shows of my tour, which made it 125 shows, so I’m very tired. And yesterday also wasn’t that good of a day for me for several other reasons. I had gotten into a back-and-forth with one of my best friends who I never ever argue with, and then, to top it off, right before I was supposed to go onstage, there was a bomb threat. You know those bomb-sniffing dogs? They were everywhere. They started sniffing out this backpack that was near my dressing room . . . I probably shouldn’t be giving up this kind of information because it sets me up for the future, but two dogs actually . . . .[both laugh] Well, they had to put me in an armored car, and I think I started crying at one point because I was just so overwhelmed, but we came to find out at the very end that it was chicken in the backpack that the dogs were sniffing and not something else.
WIIG: [laughs] I don’t mean to laugh, but chicken is the best possible thing that it could have been.
PERRY: I know. I should probably be a bit more discreet, but I thought, Chicken in a backpack? In the Philippines? I guess the dogs just wanted to eat.
WIIG: I want to know how that backpack got there. Did someone go to the store and buy some chicken and just get tired of carrying it?
PERRY: I don’t know. I think it was probably someone’s meal. Maybe they were working and they brought their backpack with their lunch in it . . . But anyway, how are you?
WIIG: I am fascinated by this chicken backpack.
PERRY: We call it the chicken bomb now.
WIIG: Please, can that be the title of this article? [Perry laughs] Um . . . I’m good. I’m in New York. It’s cold and snowy and raining and super-depressing weather—which is my favorite kind of weather, so I’m really happy. I’m not a big sunny-weather person.
PERRY: Really? I’m kind of a more sunshiny person myself. But maybe that’s why we like each other. You looked really pretty at the Golden Globes, by the way.
WIIG: That was my first time there. I was a little nervous.
PERRY: All I could think about while I was watching was your travel plans. You did SNL that night and then flew out to L.A. for the Globes, right?
WIIG: Yeah, but luckily for me and a few other people, we got to fly private. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would’ve made it.
PERRY: I was just watching and thinking, How’d she get there?
WIIG: I time-traveled. Lorne Michaels has a time machine.
PERRY: I’d like to use that time machine and go back to a specific date, please. [laughs]
WIIG: I think the last time I saw you was when you hosted SNL. How did you feel about that? I mean, you had such a great show.
PERRY: You liked it? I thought it was really fun, and, of course, interesting and educational in terms of how the industry works . . . You know how they call SNL “the institution?” It is like an institution—but in a good way. There’s nothing like it, so everyone kind of dreams about doing it. But then you actually get there and realize how much work it is and how little time you guys have to put the whole show together . . . I think we had three consecutive 20-hour days or something.
WIIG: Well, you did a lot on that show.
PERRY: I was around Val Kilmer a lot. I would just look at him and be like, “I feel like that.”
WIIG: I have a lot of love for that man.
PERRY: I really started to adore Lorne, too. At the after-party, he said something very sweet to me where he put me in the same sentence as Barbra Streisand. I was like, What? It was so nice. I don’t want to repeat what he said because I don’t want her fans to revolt . . . What are her fans called? Streisanders? Streisies? I can’t imagine her ever addressing her fans as Streisies.
WIIG: “Hey, Streisies! Follow me on Twitter!”
PERRY: [laughs] But my favorite part of doing SNL was definitely when I got to give you a best-friend necklace in front of my real best friend.
WIIG: Your real best friend was in the room when you did that?
PERRY: Yeah, that was the whole point. She was sitting right there. She’s a cute, funny little girl. She’s an actress as well. I had told her that I had made this necklace for you, but I’d never given one to her or anything . . . It was so beyond rude and awesome at the same time.
WIIG: Maybe I should get her one—like from me to her—and close the circle.
PERRY: You touch me, I’ll touch her, then you touch her, she’ll touch you, and then we’ll all just touch together . . . Do you remember what you gave me the first time I did SNL?
ids are so smart these days. . . When they see something that’s being marketed to them, they’ll call it out. They’ll be, like,‘This chick is bullshit.’—Katy Perry
WIIG: Yes, I do. It was because of something you said on Twitter.
PERRY: I said something like, “It’d be a dream come true to have a lock of Kristen Wiig’s hair to put under my pillow.” So when I did the show, you gave me a little card with a sweet message and a tiny lock of hair with a little baby-blue bow attached.
WIIG: I remember thinking, This is either the creepiest thing I’ve ever done or it’s the best.
PERRY: It’s definitely the creepiest. That wasn’t your real hair, though, was it?
WIIG: Yeah, it was.
PERRY: Don’t lie to me. That was prop-wig hair.
WIIG: No, I cut my hair. I wouldn’t give you wig hair. Gross.
PERRY: Kristen Wiig is a meth head!
WIIG: Yeah, and my hair just falls out. I just, like, tug on it.
PERRY: You gave me fall-out hair?
WIIG: I just cleaned out my brush.
PERRY: While listening to Fall Out Boy.
WIIG: While falling down.
PERRY: [laughs] I’m sorry.
WIIG: So I do have a list of questions for you.
PERRY: I didn’t know if you were going to actually do your homework.
WIIG: Are you kidding? Listen to these papers. [rustles papers] You hear that? It’s actually a Harry & David catalog.
PERRY: I love their fruits.
WIIG: Yeah, I’m trying to decide what fruit to get for the month of July . . . But I have an actual list of things I want to ask you. I know from my own experience and from other people in the business that when you come from a place where nobody knew who you were and then there is this sudden shift to where everybody now knows who you are, there’s an adjustment that you have to make. What has that experience felt like for you? Do you feel like that dynamic between you and your family has changed at all? I know you grew up with a somewhat religious background, but you’re close with your family, right?
PERRY: Yeah. It’s a very strange closeness . . . My whole thing is to agree to disagree and to have respect because nothing can really be changed and you wouldn’t want to ruin their happiness—even if that happiness is ignorance. But as far as the dynamic between us? It has absolutely changed. It’s bound to change with anyone, really . . . Well, not with anyone, because for some people it doesn’t ever change. But eventually our parents get to a certain age where they let go of the reins and they see that you’re responsible, that you’re okay, and maybe they’re finally relieved in some ways. Then they get older, so you take care of them. That’s kind of what I think the responsibility is—even if you’re not successful. But, you know, for me, with my whole thing. . . I think they just see that the dynamic has changed because I’m in a different place. But it’s not like I disrespect them in any way. I mean, I take care of them. But that’s what I’ve always wanted: to have enough that I could make sure that everyone in my family had enough. I grew up not really having anything, so the idea that I can take care of my family and my friends now is a really cool bonus.
WIIG: That says a lot about you as a person.
PERRY: I’m just trying to play that humble pie card.
WIIG: Well, it’s working. [laughs] No, I was just going to say that, obviously, our situations are different in many ways, but when I told my parents that I wanted to do this for a living, they were supportive, of course, because they’re my parents. But I think more than anything they were just kind of shitting their pants. They were super-worried. I mean, my mom worked for the Special Olympics for a long time. My dad worked for a wire company.
PERRY: So you didn’t have a house that you summered in.
WIIG: No, we didn’t. I would say we were middle to upper-middle class—I think somewhere in there.
PERRY: You were rich.
WIIG: I wasn’t rich.
PERRY: Well, you were richer than I was . . . I just want to make it very clear that I come from very humble beginnings, and I worked for everything!
WIIG: Everything. But, you know, now that my parents don’t have to worry about me anymore, I do feel a kind of weight off my shoulders. A little bit, at least.
PERRY: To be honest, it should probably be a cautionary thing for parents. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are affected more by the idea of fame than the actual work ethic involved. A lot of them just want to be reality TV–type people who don’t do anything. And if they actually want to pursue a skill, whether it’s creating or writing or acting . . . Well, that’s hard. Even if you actually have the good intent to do something creative or special with your life, it’s hard. I mean, look at the number of people who actually get the opportunity.
WIIG: That’s what they would always say to me. They would be like, “Well, the numbers . . .” In the best, most supportive way, they would say that the chances of making it aren’t really good.
PERRY: Yeah. I mean, I started kind of banging it across my parents’ heads that I wanted to do this when I was 9. I would not let it go. It was like, “I want that! Give me that!”
WIIG: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you went to Nashville when you were 14 or 15, right?
was not even allowed to mention the name Madonna . . . I think for my parents and their belief systems, the idea that I would be influenced by that was very scary.—Katy Perry
PERRY: Yeah. I started going back and forth to Nashville when I was 15. My first record was a gospel record that I recorded there. I was being musically mentored by a lot of people who were obviously more talented and skilled than I was, and I thought that I would just kind of learn the ropes of songwriting there—like how to do acoustic, country-esque songs, which I like because there’s so much story in them. Even though I don’t turn the dial directly to country music, I understand why there’s such a big audience for it. The songs have an Act I, Act II, and Act III. So that’s how I started. There’s this little place that I would go to in Los Angeles called the Hotel Café that a lot of acoustic acts come out of. There’s a girl named Sara Bareilles who came out of there. I haven’t been there for a couple of years, but that’s where I started out playing . . . I actually started playing in Santa Barbara at the farmers market when I was 13. I’d take my guitar and would test songs out on people there.
WIIG: Well, we have something in common because I worked at a farmers market once selling peaches.
PERRY: Finally, something in common! Now I can wear my best-friend necklace again.
WIIG: Was this farmers market that you played at one with a stage? Paint the picture for me.
PERRY: No, it was more like a very organic, hippie-dippie kind of atmosphere, where on one corner there’d be a violinist with a case where you have money thrown in, and then I would be on the other corner playing my own little original songs and people would throw in pistachios or avocados—or, if I was lucky, a dollar bill. I’m sure along the way I got some kind of hepatitis from a dollar bill being on an avocado. [Wiig laughs] But the Hotel Café was where I ended up in L.A. I’ve actually always wanted to make something like an acoustic record. My favorite record is a Patty Griffin record that I discovered while I was in Nashville called Flaming Red .
WIIG: I love Patty Griffin.
PERRY: That’s my all-time favorite female record—that and the Fiona Apple “Criminal” one.
WIIG: That’s a good karaoke jam. That record is called Tidal , right?
PERRY: Tidal! Yes, that and Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill  and Flaming Red are my all-time faves. I definitely want to do a Patty Griffin–esque thing at some point. I do some acoustic stuff in my show, a couple of songs. But it’s something that I’m really excited about because I know I can do it and I haven’t really played that card yet. I’ve been thinking about my future and what the next move is in terms of what I need to do. I think it would be pretty stupid to try and redo this last record that had all of this success . . . Maybe it’s time to do something that’s different that can’t be compared.
WIIG: People sometimes get a little extra criticism when they try something that they don’t normally do, but I think that’s just a natural thing for artists. It’s like, “Okay, I did that, and now I want to try this.” I mean, people get so surprised when I say I want to do a dramatic film. They can’t wrap their heads around it.
PERRY: Well, if you keep on doing the same role, you’ll be typecast. I just feel like I’m going to be criticized regardless of what I do next, so I might as well do something that I feel really passionate about. I don’t even know if I could ever re-create that last record—just like you probably don’t know if you could ever re-create Bridesmaids.
PERRY: So maybe you need to try something different—at least for now. That’s what I’m hoping I can do. People tried to do a lot of stuff with me early in my career where they tried to shape me into one thing or another—you know, when I was on other labels that eventually dropped me. They couldn’t just take the chance and go with my vision—which was just my intuition, really. But then finally Capitol said, “We’re gonna just go with what you know. You seem to have a good group of girls around you, and people are responding to you.” So they took a chance with me without looking at all the studies and the research, and it paid off. I think sometimes that research is bullshit. A lot of the time people don’t even know what they want until they see something new. I mean, when I first came to L.A., I used to audition, and I had such fear because nobody really believed in my music. I couldn’t get anyone on my bandwagon. Now I have a confidence because my research shows that I should just really trust my instincts.
WIIG: That’s all you can do.
PERRY: Well, I think that really resonates with people. If you’re coming from an honest place and you’re doing things for the right motives, then people can see that. Kids are so smart these days. They sense when there’s a phony bologna out there. Especially in music, when they see something that’s being marketed to them, they’ll call it out. They’ll be like, “This chick is bullshit.”
WIIG: I grew up listening to a lot of music that actually sort of reminds me of your music, like the Go-Go’s, Madonna, the Bangles, Toni Basil—really happy, fun music.
PERRY: Yeah, well, my music is about to get real fucking dark, so . . .
WIIG: [laughs] I want you to do a Smiths cover record and make a video where it’s just you looking up out the window and it’s raining. You’ll have a black veil on.
PERRY: I’ll be shoe-gazing. You’ll never see my face because my hair is in my face.
WIIG: But were you influenced by any of those people I mentioned? I’m sure people ask you all the time if you were influenced by Madonna, but what kind of music did you listen to when you were younger?
PERRY: I wasn’t allowed to listen to a lot of music growing up. It wasn’t until I started to make my gospel record when I was around 14 or 15 that I started to be exposed to more outside influences. Before that, I was actually really into Christian music. I knew all about the Christian music scene, which was a very small kind of sect. But I knew all about that world. Then my mom would let me listen to, like, Billie Holiday and Etta James and really classic stuff like that. My mom speaks fluent French, so she was also really into Édith Piaf, which she turned me on to—although, I guess she didn’t really look into the lyrics. [laughs] But as I started to hear different kinds of music, my world got bigger. I got a record by Queen, which was so influential for me. I got all the Beatles’ records, like the “white” album , which was really important to me along with Pet Sounds  by the Beach Boys. Those two records were the only things I listened to for probably two years straight. Then I discovered Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jonatha Brooke—a little bit of the Lilith Fair–esque stuff. And then I got into more electronic music. But I’m just open to everything these days.
WIIG: I’ve gone through a lot of musical phases, too. I remember listening to [Prince’s] Purple Rain  and my mom taking it away when she heard “Darling Nikki.” She was like, “What is he singing about?” I wasn’t allowed to listen to that anymore.
could be in Florida on a kind of healthy trip where I’m just riding my bike and chillin’ at the beach, with an assisted-living condo bit and a meal delivery service.—Katy Perry
PERRY: I was not even allowed to mention the name Madonna in my household—just because I think the ’80s and ’90s were so Madonna-filled. She was going through so many evolutions at that time. One day she was doing a sex book, and the next day she was doing Ray of Light . She left so many huge visual impressions on people, and I think for my parents, with their belief systems, the idea that I would be influenced by that at such a young age was very scary. But, of course, when you can’t have something, then that’s all you want, so whenever I was at my friends’ houses, I would be like, “Turn on MTV!”
WIIG: As we were saying earlier, when you’re starting out, the numbers are really against you. Do you ever have those moments, now, though, where you’re either onstage or you’re waking up and you’re just like, “I did it”?
PERRY: Yeah, every time, right as I leave my room, there’s a big mirror by the door . . . [laughs] But, no, I do get really happy. I feel like I give a lot—and I’m not talking about in a numbers sense or a money sense, even though that is there. I feel like I give a lot of energy and do a lot of work. My job is for the people. It’s for the public. It’s for their consumption. So I’ve done a lot in that way, and I see that the hard work has finally paid off. It has taken a long time—and I feel like I’ve earned a lot of it—but the stars have aligned for me in some ways. I’ve just always been very aware and careful of everything, so that I can be ready for the perfect opportunities as they come. I don’t take anything for granted or wait for anything to come to me. I still, every day, continue to go out and get it. I probably even work harder now than I did when I was trying to make it, you know? It’s so weird that that actually happens. You make it, and you’re like, “Oh, yeah. I’m going to be interviewed by Robin Leach on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” But you don’t even have time to do that because you’re working.
WIIG: Now, on a similar note of doing what you do for public consumption . . . I don’t want to get too into the tabloids or paparazzi or things like that, but some people feel if you’re famous, then the public has a right to know every single little thing about your personal life and—
PERRY: But that’s not true. Who wrote that rule? No one wrote that rule. That’s just someone trying to make a selfish plea to be nosy. I heard this story about Elvis Presley. Apparently, if Elvis went out in public, he would always take pictures with any of his fans who asked. No matter what, he would always do it. But then I think to myself, “Yeah, of course he did it. It was the 1950s. Not everyone had a camera.” Maybe you’d meet two or three people who had cameras, and those people would get their pictures, but it wasn’t like it is now, where every single person walking by has a camera . . . I think, for me, when it comes to meeting young kids and stuff, I always try to do everything and anything they want. Kidney, liver, blood transfusion—you want it, you got it. When it comes to adults, though, it’s a little different . . . Sometimes their motives are unclear, and I can feel that, and I’m a little bit more cautious. Also, if I’m working, then I’m just kind of 100 percent up for the public. But if I’m not working, then, again, I’m very cautious. Today, for example, I’m not working. But if I decide to go out and get a coffee, and there’s a paparazzi up in my face . . . I can’t really think of any time when I wasn’t working that I ever overstepped that boundary and called them out or got into their game—because you can’t control that game once you do get into it. But I think it’s disgusting. What I wanted to be and who I am is a singer and a songwriter. I wanted to be onstage, and I wanted the world to hear my music. The product of that is fame and the disgusting celebrity that goes along with it. But celebrity does not equal creativity, and the reason I’m here is because I want to create.
WIIG: I couldn’t agree more.
PERRY: But I don’t really ever tolerate it—especially when it comes to my personal life or my family. When I’m working, I’m all yours. But when I’m not working, stay the fuck away. That’s how it goes. So whoever made up the idea that everyone has the right to every bit of information about you because you’re famous . . . No one made that rule. It’s not a law, and if you think it is, then you don’t really understand how the world works.
WIIG: I can’t even compare my experiences with yours, but it is jarring. I don’t know . . . The public doesn’t want to hear people complaining about having their picture taken.
PERRY: I don’t think we’re complaining. We’re just stating. I’m not complaining at all. I say this in the most grateful of terms, but I know that there is a downside to everything, every job, and what I’ve learned so much about is that sacrifice is such a key word when it comes to this kind of role. You have to be prepared to actually make that sacrifice. It’s not just going to be, like, maybe you’ll have to make it—there will be a lot of sacrifices if you decide you want to live this life.
WIIG: It sounds like you’re handling it pretty well.
PERRY: Thanks, dude . . . It’s true.
WIIG: Do you want to do more movies? Do you want to act more?
acrifice is such a key word when it comes to this kind of role. There will be a lot of sacrifices if you decide you want to live this life.—Katy Perry
PERRY: I’ve not really done a movie, I don’t think. I mean, I’ve done a voice [in The Smurfs (2011)]—
WIIG: You had a little thing in Get Him to the Greek , though, right? But I guess you were playing yourself . . .
PERRY: It was, like, me playing myself as a quote-unquote singer . . . That’s a really challenging role. [laughs] But, of course, I want to do films. I’m cautious about doing them because it’s such a different world to me. It’s collaborative in a different way than I’m used to. I do a lot of collaborating with my tour, my music, and everything, but at the end of the day, if I don’t want to do something, then I can say I don’t want to do it. On a film, you have to take a little bit more of a backseat on that type of stuff— especially when you’re dealing with studios and the 77 cooks in the kitchen. I’ve got to mentally prepare to get into that world. I don’t know . . . I’m such an outsider, really. So, yes, I do want to do films, but I’ll be very specific about what I do.
WIIG: This is a really dumb question, and yet I still really want to know your answer to it. What do you want to be doing when you’re an 80-year-old woman? Like, do you see yourself in Florida, all tanned and cruising on Miami Beach?
PERRY: I feel like I’ve got so many different options being an 80-year-old woman. I feel like I could be in Florida on a kind of healthy trip where I’m just riding my bike and chillin’ at the beach, with an assisted-living condo bit and a meal delivery service—which is sort of how I’m living now. [Wiig laughs] But I also kind of hope that I turn out to be like my grandma, who is 91 and so rad. She’s beyond rad. She’s all there, remembers everything, lives on her own. But what I love about her is that she just doesn’t care. She doesn’t give a flyin’ flip about anything, and she has the funniest reactions and retorts. She also has the coolest outfits and tchotchke collections that she has gathered from her days of garage- and estate sale-ing. So I hope I have the same kind of personality that I do now, but a little bit more of my grandma in there. She’s the coolest, oldest lady I’ve ever met—besides those lunching ladies with, like, the amazing hats that you see at the Hotel Bel-Air. Where do you see yourself when you’re 80? Will your hair still be falling out?
WIIG: Yeah. I’ll be completely bald. I’ll probably be playing some sort of an instrument at a farmers market. Either that, or I want to be one of those New York ladies who wears red lipstick and walks through the park wearing all black . . . So, finally, I wanted to talk to you about something that I was happy to hear, which is that you’re into Ancient Aliens [the H2 network show that investigates the possibility that aliens visited Earth thousands of years ago].
PERRY: You like Ancient Aliens?
WIIG: Oh, my god. I love Ancient Aliens! I talk about it so much . . .
PERRY: So we have two things in common!
WIIG: In fact, I talked about it so much while we were making the last movie that I did, that as a wrap gift everyone got me the first season on DVD.
PERRY: Oh, really? Well, I sent out a Christmas gift basket to some people filled with a few of my favorite things, and the first season of Ancient Aliens was one of the things I included. I’ve ordered like 50 of those DVDs.
WIIG: The first time it came on, it was like a two-hour special. I remember that I recorded it because I was shooting Bridesmaids at the time, and it was one of those things that I just didn’t delete off my DVR. I just watched it over and over again. Every night, I would see something different in it.
PERRY: You know that guy who hosts the show?
WIIG: With the hair that goes up?
PERRY: Yeah. He puts weird inflections on words and just gets tanner and tanner and his hair gets bigger and bigger as the series goes on. There’s like a remix version online of all his greatest quotes with all of his different tans and hairs . . . It’s so good. I made everyone on my tour watch it. I’m just obsessed. I also think I’m kind of fascinated by that kind of stuff because of how I grew up, where everything was so black-and-white. Now I’m seeing a lot more color in the world—and asking more questions—so I’m very into things that are above and beyond me and were before me and will be after me. I do hope, though, that when the aliens do come, they’ll recognize me. I’ll be like, “Please don’t kill me. I wrote a song called ‘E.T.’ ”
Kristen Wiig is currently in her seventh season on Saturday Night Live. She can next be seen in the film Friends with Kids.