Welcome to Me: Kristen Wiig Continues Strong Indie Streak

Kristen Wiig has proven that she doesn’ need studio blockbusters to show how great of an actress that she can be and it shows in Shira Piven’s well-made second feature, Welcome to Me.
Wiig builds on her previous indie performances seen in Girl Most Likely and The Skeleton Twins.

Based on an original screenplay written by Eliot Laurence, the star-studded cast includes Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusak, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Thomas Mann, James Marsden, and Tim Robbins.

Alice Krieg (Wiig) has a personality disorder described as borderline. After winning the Mega Millions lottery, she surprises everyone in her life (parents, therapist, ex-husband, and even the local television station) by using the money to fund a television show in order to fulfill her dream of being the next Oprah. Unfortunately for Alice, life isn’t exactly that simple.

Krieg is a very complex but also troubled. It’s great that Piven convinced Laurence to adapt this into a television series because I’m just not sure how well it would play as a television series because nobody other than Kristen Wiig could do the character justice. This is just the type of eccentric character that we would expect to see Wiig play as she builds on her career with The Groundlings and Saturday Night Live. After viewing the film, I cannot envision anybody but Wiig as Krieg. It’s the same as actor Jim Parsons playing Dr. Sheldon Cooper on the hit CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. It would be a surprise if Wiig isn’t nominated later this year for the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Because of how bizarre and darkly funny script felt for Wiig when she first read it, the actress found the “comedic parts even more funny and the dramatic parts more amazing.” Wiig developed a love-hate relationship with Krieg that one would expect viewers to feel as well. While Krieg comes off as clueless but sometimes malicious in her actions, viewers will find a way to relate to why she chose to do what she does.

Once Wiig was cast, though, the film started coming together with other big names becoming attached to the project. That’s how it works with independent films. Get one star to join your project and the pieces just start coming together.

Producers include Aaron L. Gilbert Marina Grasic, Margot Hand, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum, and Wiig. Robyn Wholey executive produced the feature film.

Welcome to Me opened in theaters on May 1 but is currently available through Video on Demand platforms before being released on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 16, 2015.