Wiig was 'strongest' she ever felt as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984
Actress-comedienne charts new territory with villain role in Wonder Woman 1984
Walking on the wide side has turned out to be a good look for Kristen Wiig.
In Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to the 2017 superhero blockbuster which opens here on Dec 17, the 47-year-old US actress-comedienne takes on the dual role of bookish, dowdy geologist/gemologist Barbara Minerva and ferocious alter ego Cheetah, one of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman's (Gal Gadot) most formidable foes and a fan favourite DC comic book supervillain.
Wiig is an alumnus of skit series Saturday Night Live and best known for appearing in comedies such as Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters.
On how she feels about playing the sexy bad girl for once, sporting punk-style teased hair, dark eye make-up and edgy ripped animal print clothes, Wiig joked self-deprecatingly to the The New Paper in a Zoom interview from Los Angeles: "Yes, I mean, that is what Halloween is for right?
"No, it was incredible. I've always wanted to be in a movie like this and to work with (director) Patty (Jenkins) as I loved the first movie.
"I don't really get offered roles to play people like this - ever - so I was excited and nervous and it was one of the best times of my life."
She added: "It was a new area and experience for me, as far as action and huge superhero movies go."
Thanks to her two-month training prior to the eight-month shoot, Wiig was in tip-top shape, and even shows off her toned physique in a scene where Barbara discovers her growing super strength and out-muscles all the gawking men in the gym.
"There was general physical training, stunt training, choreography, wirework, movement classes. It was constant. Sometimes if you shot scenes for half the day, the other half you'd have to go work out. I am sure I complained because my body was sore, but I loved it.
"It was definitely the strongest I'd felt because I was doing it every day, constantly moving and on the go.
"I am definitely not working out that hard now. Actually the short answer is no," she said with a laugh.
Wiig said she could certainly relate to Barbara, Diana's new co-worker at the museum - and audiences will too.
"In the beginning when we meet Barbara, you instantly feel so sorry for her. She is really overlooked, lonely, insecure and socially awkward. I think we've all felt all of those things - I definitely have and still do. Those feelings come in and out of our lives constantly, where we're never feeling confident 100 per cent of the time."
And while Barbara is awestruck by the stylish, confident, strong and popular Diana in the film, Wiig was also fangirling over Gadot off-screen. The pair formed an instant bond.
She recalled: "When I saw Gal in real life for the first time, I was like, this woman is so beautiful inside and outside, and kind.
"And because I was such a fan of the first movie, the first time I saw her on set in her costume, everyone else was used to it, but I was like, oh my gosh, she is in her costume, she is right there!"
But Barbara's claws slowly unveil as she gradually shifts from friend to enemy and victim to predator.
This culminates in the highly anticipated Cirque du Soleil-esque aerial battle between a Golden Armoured Wonder Woman and full-on animalistic Cheetah.
"The worst part of it was the contact lenses I had to wear," Wiig said.
"(But) from training for that sequence and learning all the choreography for months and months and then finally getting to shoot, seeing the set and both of us being in those costumes was really amazing."