'I'm still in total shock': How Kristen Wiig transformed into Cheetah for 'Wonder Woman 1984'

Spoiler alert! The following post contains light spoilers for the new film "Wonder Woman 1984".
ALEXANDRIA, VA. - On the top level of an old mall that became a buzzing 1980s mall for Wonder Woman 1984, Kristen Wiig has poured herself into a pointy, figure-hugging black dress topped with some serious high heels. She is light years away from the dreary discount store couture she wore as the target lady on "Saturday Night Live".
"You look great," says a colleague of Wiig's character, Barbara Minerva, who does a few purchases for a gala event and checks herself. "Do you think it's too tight?" Asks Wiig and leads her helper to confirm that "it is exactly right".
"Wow," says a self-impressed Barbara to the woman. "I accept it."
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Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) gets a fashionable makeover as part of her transformation into the wild cheetahs in "Wonder Woman 1984".
The sequence in "1984" (now in theaters and streamed on HBO Max) is a small but important development in Wonder Woman's newest arch animosity, the Cheetah. Barbara, a mousy geologist who befriends our heroine Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), wishes to be fateful, more powerful and more confident on a mystical rock than her new Smithsonian employee, and the resulting transformation changes her fashion, physicality and Ferocity.
“She was so surprised that she looked like this, but she was also somehow ignorant. And it just looks completely different than it did 10 minutes earlier in the film, ”says Wiig now, two years after that day of shooting. "That's kind of your biggest jump, except to the end, of course."
The filthy clothes and glasses that Barbara dons at the beginning of director Patty Jenkins' "1984" eventually give way to a leather look with a cheetah print that she wears while twirling Wonder Woman around the White House and later as an animal cheetah in the action packed Climax of the film. (Their final form is computer generated, with Wiig doing their scenes in a motion capture suit.)
Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) is a clumsy geologist who transforms into an apex predator after a fateful wish in "Wonder Woman 1984".
Becoming a comic book super villain is a marked departure from Wiig's comedic endeavors, from "SNL" to films like "Bridesmaids" and "Ghostbusters". Even when the long-awaited sequel to "Wonder Woman" comes out, Wiig, 47, finds it hard to believe she's actually in the movie.
"Honestly, when Patty talked to me about it, I said, 'Do you have the right Kristen? Are you speaking to the right person? "Says Wiig with a laugh." I was obviously pleasantly surprised that she thought of me for this character. I love superhero movies and watch them like, "Wow, I wish I could be in one of them." the fact that it happened I'm still totally shocked. "
Instead of looking for Cheetah, Jenkins wanted to find the right Barbara and so she landed on Wiig.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, left) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) quarrel in "Wonder Woman 1984" at the White House.
"She's just a perfect match for that funny friend who you love and who is fun and interesting in the field, but who then has the strengths and acting skills to get to the end," says Jenkins. “She is a genius. I just believed she would have no problem getting there. "
To get on with Gadot properly, Wiig did the entire eight months of filming plus two months of stunt training. "So I actually got stronger physically when the film was made," says Wiig. "I felt different than Barbara felt different, which was a cool thing I wasn't expecting."
Barbara / Cheetah is a physical figure, but Wiig also had to give it depth: both she and Wonder Woman make fateful wishes - for Diana she brings back her lost love (Chris Pine), who died in the First World War (see: the first "Wonder Woman") - who both take and give, and Wiig's character hates to give up her new power, even if it negatively affects her humanity.
"The fact that Diana and Barbara go two different paths really shows their differences," says Wiig. “In the beginning they are almost similar in the way they live their lives and they are so separate from people and lonely and feel like no one understands them. They are on this journey together, so to speak, and this is really the point towards the end where they decide to do different things with what they are given. "
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: 'Wonder Woman 1984': How Kristen Wiig turned into the villain Cheetah
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Kristen Wiig

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