Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers about the plot of the movie mother! Read at your own risk.
"There were actors we were talking to, but when I heard Kristen was available, I said, ‘Sure,'" Aronofsky explained. "You’re not expecting [her], and it kind of throws audiences."
In the movie, Wiig plays Javier Bardem's wacky publisher; Bardem's character is a melancholy poet known only as "Him." (Jennifer Lawrence is the titular Mother, a ham-fisted metaphor for Mother Earth.) Wiig doesn't subscribe to traditional Aronofsky style. We know her as goofy, and she stays that way in the movie — until she doesn't. Aronofsky says this was purposeful.
"Seeing her character take all these surprise turns you would never expect of her. It was fun, and about giving audiences a little gift in the middle of the film," Aronofsky continued. The movie itself couldn't be described as "fun." In fact, it's been marketed as a horror film, and at every turn, those involved have insisted the movie is a powerful. Aronofsky explains it as a metaphor for the torture of Mother Earth.
"We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess," he said. "We drill in her. We cut down her forests." All of this happens to Lawrence's character in the movie, and it's all pretty harrowing.
"I had trouble calming down and coming back after [Darren Aronofsky] called 'cut,'" Lawrence said. "I've always been fine snapping out of it, but I've never had to go this dark before. I kind of lost control of myself. I tore my diaphragm and popped my chest rib out."
After all that feverish intensity, Kristen Wiig's presence is a welcome relief. Rest assured, she didn't pop a chest rib out during filming.
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