Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm on Fake ‘Fargo’ Nipples, Their ‘Bridesmaids’ Sex Scene and Wild ‘SNL’ Memories: ‘We’re Both Naked. You Just Have to Go With It’

Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm on Fake ‘Fargo’ Nipples, Their ‘Bridesmaids’ Sex Scene and Wild ‘SNL’ Memories: ‘We’re Both Naked. You Just Have to Go With It’

For this conversation, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm reunited only two weeks after appearing together on “Saturday Night Live” — Wiig, a regular on the show from 2005 to 2012, joined the Five-Timers Club as the host, and Hamm, her co-star in “Bridesmaids,” appeared as a special guest. The pair had plenty to celebrate: This past season, Wiig starred as a would-be socialite trying to claw her way into the in crowd on Apple TV+’s “Palm Royale.” Hamm also played a gleefully ambitious character for Apple, as an Elon Musk-type billionaire attempting to become a media mogul on the third season of “The Morning Show.” But an even bigger turn came with Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” from FX, where his devious Sheriff Roy Tillman runs roughshod over all those in his way — after making a very memorable entrance.

Variety Actors on Actors Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig
Variety Actors on Actors Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig

KRISTEN WIIG: What’s up, Hamm?

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JON HAMM: I have not seen you in forever, even though we just did the show together.

WIIG: Before that, it was a long time. We did not see each other during COVID; we followed the rules. I still follow them.

HAMM: We’re six feet apart, and I’m wearing a mask right now. It’s just a mask that’s my face.

WIIG: Why didn’t anyone make those? “Just send in a photo of your face.”

HAMM: A KN95, but with something fun on it.

WIIG: Don’t air this, because someone’s going to steal it.

HAMM: We can retire on that one.

WIIG: Can I give you a compliment?

HAMM: Sure. It may be the first time in your life.

WIIG: You are amazing on “Fargo” and “The Morning Show” — two different characters.

HAMM: Very different. Shot at the same time.I was shooting on parallel tracks, flying back from Calgary to Los Angeles.

WIIG: Let’s talk about your character in “Fargo,” who I heard you said was visually based on the Marlboro Man.

HAMM: That was Noah’s hope. What he was trying to do was explode this idea of this rugged individualist that seems to be a very popular idea right now: a sovereign citizen, “No one can tell me what to do.” This onanistic, narcissistic idea about what being an individual has to be: You’re free from the constraints of government and society.

Well, of course, that’s impossible. But there are people who subscribe to that. And when they take it to the extreme, this is what you get: the guy where the rules don’t apply because he makes the rules. I think it’s a cautionary tale; we need to live in a society that has rules. And we can point to one obvious orange example of that right now, who’s kind of bumping up against the rules as well.

WIIG: Did you know how it would end?

HAMM: I didn’t think it was going to end great for my guy. You couldn’t have that guy get away scot-free.

WIIG: When we meet Roy — you have quite an entrance, or should I say a “rising up” out of the water. You are in full nipple piercings.

HAMM: Completely naked. I was wearing a little thing around my junk. A sock around my junk. A junk sock. There’s a process of making fake nipples that stick onto my real nipples that have little earrings in them.

WIIG: Was it like an adhesive? What are we talking here?

HAMM: It’s a little latex situation. There’s a picture of me with two little blue latex things on my nipples that I’ll send you. And then on the day, I’m going to sit in this hot tub with a weird beige bag around my junk.

WIIG: Was it cold?

HAMM: It was a hot tub. It was nice. But the backdrop of the mountains and what is meant to be the upper Midwest was actually filmed in Calgary in freezing cold — minus 20 degrees.

Speaking of cold, “Palm Royale.” It didn’t look cold. The opposite of cold. Warm? I’d like to go with warm.

WIIG: Great segue.

HAMM: Tell me about how it came about. I haven’t finished it.

Kristen Wiig Variety Actors on Actors
Kristen Wiig Variety Actors on Actors

WIIG: That’s OK — I haven’t finished yours either.

HAMM: But I am watching and loving it. This means we haven’t seen any of it.

WIIG: This means we watched the trailer. But you know what? Just watch how we fake it.

HAMM: Fake it till you make it. But how did it come about? You didn’t write it.

WIIG: It came to me through this actress. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her — her name is Laura Dern.

HAMM: Oh, Bruce Dern’s kid. It’s amazing because it’s so midcentury and feels of that time. It must have been a fun place to be.

WIIG: It was. And I obviously learned more about it after being part of the show. Slim Aarons photos and things like this. Nowhere else in the country were they dressed like that. It’s this weird vortex of pastels and day drinking.

HAMM: It’s such an amazing cast to be able to hang in that space with. Especially with Carol Burnett, who lived through it.

WIIG: I could talk about Carol Burnett for 20 minutes. She’s a fucking legend. I grew up watching her. She influenced so many people in sketch comedy. And being a woman at that time, with her own show. She shows up on set, she’s talking to everyone, she knows everyone’s name, she’s telling stories. She hangs out on set and just talks to people. And she’s such a light — people lit up around her.

HAMM: I like to hear that. Because all the things we’ve worked on together, part of it is to not get too jaded or too over it or feel like, “Ugh, I’ve got to be here.” We get to be here. It’s such a gift to be able to do what we do. I still love doing it.

WIIG: Me too.

HAMM: When they called and asked if I could do your “SNL” when you hosted for the fifth time — congratulations! — I was like, there’s never an answer that doesn’t rhyme with “Yeah.”

WIIG: You could have gone with “Nah.” That kind of rhymes.

HAMM: Any time you say, “Come do anything,” I’ll do it. When you said, “Please be in ‘Bridesmaids,’” I was like, “Sure.” And you were like, “We haven’t written a part yet.”

WIIG: And we had so much fun. It’s so funny because obviously you’re known for Don Draper at that point. People are known for that thing, and when there’s something else, people are so surprised.

HAMM: I think happily. It’s like a discovery.

WIIG: Because it’s like, “And he’s funny!” When you did “SNL”—

Jon Hamm Variety Actors on Actors
Jon Hamm Variety Actors on Actors

HAMM: Do you remember? On Monday, when you come in as the host, there was a big meeting in Lorne’s office. And all the writers are there, and the cast is there, and everybody jams into the small office, and everybody was in “Mad Men” drag. Which was very strange.

WIIG: We never do that. I don’t think we’ve ever done it since.

HAMM: Bill Hader was in drag. Paula Pell had a cigarette taped to her finger because she didn’t know how to smoke. Colin Jost is two years out of Harvard and looks like a total Staten Island dirtbag.

WIIG: Do you remember that group? “Mad Men,” “The Office,” “SNL” — we kind of all ran with each other.

HAMM: Everybody gelled at the same time. It was such a moment in time of distilled fun.

WIIG: You were always so game when you came to the show.

HAMM: I hosted three times in two years and then never again. The fun part of “SNL” — one time I was hosting, and we both had quick changes next to each other. And you’re like, “Get ready,” and then we’re both naked. They’re literally tearing clothes off of you. You just have to go with it.

WIIG: The last time I was back, I had a quick change. They were stripping me, and I looked over, and Kenan [Thompson] was doing the same thing. I was like, “Oh, we’ve seen each other.”

HAMM: All of the parts. It’s fine. It’s only awkward because you have to submit to it. You’re a total mannequin.

WIIG: The “in-between sketches” is the most interesting — it’s such a beautiful dance.

HAMM: And you never see the seams. My first time hosting was right in the middle of [your time]. And then I hosted three times, and we worked together so much. And then I was at your last show, which was so awesome and fun and, I’m sure, tremendously emotional for you.

WIIG: I was so emotional that week. I cried during read-through, I sobbed after readthrough, and I just didn’t want to cry on air. And I didn’t really, even though it was one of the most emotional nights of my life. And then with Five-Timers, I surprised myself that I got a little emotional at the end. I still can’t even explain why. The other times I’ve hosted, it’s weird to go back, seeing the other side of the curtain.

HAMM: Everybody that I know that’s gone back and hosted, from Tina [Fey] to Bill [Hader] to you, has said it’s a real mindfuck. It’s a weird gear shift.

WIIG: Do you find as you’ve gotten older and worked more, you gravitate toward the things that are more joyful and fun?

HAMM: Well, yeah, because there’s so many definitions of that. For “Fargo,” I’ll go play a bad guy who’s morally reprehensible, who has all of these terrible things about him, in the freezing cold, but I’m still having fun. To lean into the aspect of it that is joyful and fun, I think that resonates off the screen. And when I look at your career, every time I see you in something, I’ll say, “Oh, my God, you’re so good in this.”

WIIG: There’re some things you haven’t reached out about. We haven’t talked about “The Morning Show,” which I love. You had a lot of scenes with Billy [Crudup] — he’s so good.

HAMM: The first time I saw Billy Crudup was onstage in 1995. I was teaching school, and during spring break, teachers get spring break too. I was teaching acting and I wanted to be an actor, so I was like, “I’m going to go to New York City. I’m going to stay on my friend’s couch, and I’m going to see plays.” I saw Billy Crudup in “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard, one of my favorite plays. And he was so good in it, I was like, “Maybe I could do this for a living.”

WIIG: He was my first on-screen kiss.

HAMM: Billy Crudup?

WIIG: Oh, my God, I’m forgetting the name of the movie. “Pretty Bird.” I was so nervous. I remember talking to the director, because I was like, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Is it, like, go in with tongue?” And he was like, “No, do not do that.”

HAMM: We kissed on-screen in “Bridesmaids.”

WIIG: That was the last day of shooting.

HAMM: Everybody knew each other, and I didn’t know anybody except for Paul [Feig] and you. So all of that stuff in the bed at the beginning of the movie? Everybody just wanted to leave. And we were goofing around.

WIIG: No, they were like, “Wow, Jon Hamm!” Are you kidding me? I disagree.

HAMM: I definitely felt the last-day energy. And we could not keep it together remotely. It was the dumbest.

WIIG: It was so fun because it was so loose: “What if we do this? What if we try this?”

HAMM: And Paul Feig yelling sex instructions. “Put her leg over your shoulder!” “OK!” We’re in naked bodysuits. Dumb and fun. And you and Annie [Mumolo] made one of the best comedies of all time. And you got nominated for an Oscar.

WIIG: And you’re in it. And you made it great. So thanks.

HAMM: You’re welcome.

Production Design: Keith Raywood

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