There are few modern comedies — R-rated or otherwise — that have shaken up the zeitgeist quite like 2011’s Bridesmaids. Directed by Paul Feig and starring and co-written by an Oscar-nominated Kristen Wiig, this lewd, gleefully debauched, unsuspectingly (yet expectedly) sweet-natured romp turned the rom-com genre on its head, letting the ladies get their chance to cuss, be crass, and have a ball in ways Hollywood larks traditionally didn't. The results were an instant critical and commercial success, and its rippling effects can still be felt in Hollywood today.
Now that a whole decade (!!) has passed since Bridesmaids made its way into theaters, let’s take a look and see how far this talented female-lead ensemble, including Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd, and an Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy, has come since they starred in producer Judd Apatow's satire.
Kristen Wiig (Annie Walker)
As Annie Walker, a single 30-something woman who becomes Lillian’s maid of honor, Kristen Wiig plays the protagonist in Paul Feig's Bridesmaids. She also received an Oscar nomination for co-writing the screenplay. Most notably, Wiig received multiple Emmy nominations for her work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Her other television credits include The Spoils of Babylon, The Last Man on Earth, Arrested Development, Nobodies, The Spoils Before Dying, Bored to Death, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Additionally, Wiig can be heard in Bless the Harts, Big Mouth, and The Looney Tunes Show. Also, the film and TV actress starred in Lifetime’s A Deadly Adoption opposite Will Ferrell.
Kristen Wiig reunited with Paul Feig with Ghostbusters (2016). Her other starring roles include The Skeleton Twins, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Welcome to Me, Girl Most Likely, and Hateship, Loveship. Wiig’s other notable film credits include The Martian, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Downsizing, mother! Her, Paul, MacGruber, Whip It, Extract, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Knocked Up, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Wonder Woman 1984. As a voice actress, she can be heard in the How to Train Your Dragon movies, the Despicable Me sequels, Sausage Party, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Most recently, Wiig co-wrote, produced, and starred in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Next, she will appear in Netflix’s A Boy Called Christmas.
Maya Rudolph (Lillian Donovan)
In the role of Lillian Donovan, Annie’s soon-to-be-married best friend, Maya Rudolph plays our woman in white (and, to her distress, brown) throughout the ill-fated wedding preparations in Bridesmaids. Most notably, the actress won two Emmys for NBC’s SNL and two more Emmys for her voice work on Netflix’s Big Mouth. Her other television credits include The Good Place, for which she was also Emmy-nominated, Up All Night, The Spoils Before Dying, Maya & Marty, The Grinder, Forever, and Mapleworth Murders. Moreover, as a prolific voice actress, Rudolph is heard in Bless the Harts, Big Hero 6: The Series, and The Awesomes. Next, she’ll be seen in an untitled new Apple TV+ series and heard in Netflix’s Human Resources, a Big Mouth spin-off. She’s also expected to host Baking It.
In film, additionally, Maya Rudolph can also be seen in Away We Go, The Way, Way Back, Inherent Vice, Idiocracy, MacGruber, A Praire Home Companion, 50 First Dates, Sisters, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, CHIPS, Life of the Party, The Happytime Murders, Wine Country, Hubie Halloween, and the Grown Ups movies. She can also be heard in Big Hero 6, The Willoughbys, The Emoji Movie, The Nut Job, Turbo, Shrek the Third, Zookeeper, and The Angry Birds Movie. Most recently, Rudolph lent her voice to Disney+’s Luca and Netflix’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Next, she'll appear in Licorice Pizza and Disney+’s Disenchanted.
Rose Byrne (Helen Harris III)
Playing the part of Helen Harris III, Lillian’s uber-successful and very well-to-do bridesmaid who quickly becomes the source of Annie’s envy and disdain, Rose Byrne became a comedy favorite through her prominent supporting role in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. Most notably, the actress received two Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Ellen Parsons in FX’s Damages. Byrne also appeared in Echo Point, No Activity, and HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Last year, she was seen in Hulu’s Mrs. America. Currently, Byrne stars in Apple TV+’s Physical.
On the big screen, Rose Byrne’s other notable film credits include the Neighbors movies, the Insidious films, X-Men: First Class, Get Him to the Greek, 28 Weeks Later, Sunshine, Troy, Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones, The Goddess of 1967, Juliet, Naked, Marie Antoinette, Knowing, The Place Beyond the Pines, and X-Men: Apocalypse. She also reunited with Paul Feig for Spy. Byrne's other movie credits include The Meddler, Annie (2014), Instant Family, Jexi, This is Where I Leave You, Adult Beginners, I Am Mother, and Peter Rabbit. Last year, she appeared in Like a Boss and Irresistible. Most recently, Byrne reprised her role as Beatrix in Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. She was also seen in the short film, Shark. Next, Byrne will star in Seriously Red, which she will also produce.
Melissa McCarthy (Megan Price)
As Megan Price, the most outspoken and foul-mouthed bridesmaid, Melissa McCarthy got an Oscar nomination for her thunderous supporting role in Bridesmaids. She later received her second Oscar nomination for her leading role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Moreover, McCarthy reunited with Paul Feig with The Heat, Spy, and Ghostbusters (2016). Her other notable film credits include Identity Thief, The Happytime Murders, St. Vincent, The Hangover Part III, This Is 40, The Nines, Go, The Kitchen, and Charlie’s Angels. Additionally, McCarthy co-wrote, produced, and starred in Tammy, The Boss, and Life of the Party. Most recently, she produced and starred in HBO Max’s Superintelligence and Netflix’s Thunder Force. Also, McCarthy starred in Netflix’s The Startling and she produced Netflix’s Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed. Next, the actress will be seen in The Little Mermaid (2023) and Thor: Love and Thunder.
On TV, Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy for her starring role in CBS’s Mike & Molly and another Emmy for her guest work on NBC’s SNL. Furthermore, the actress is well-known for playing Sookie St. James in The WB’s Gilmore Girls and Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. McCarthy was also seen in Samatha Who? and Nobodies. Most recently, she produced and starred in Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers. Next, McCarthy stars in Netflix’s sitcom, God’s Favorite Idiot.
Chris O’Dowd (Officer Nathan Rhodes)
In the role of Officer Nathan Rhodes, a kind-hearted police officer who forms a cutesy friendship with Annie, Chris O’Dowd was an affable love interest in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. Most notably, the actor played Roy Trenneman in Channel 4’s The IT Crowd. Also, O’Dowd created and starred in Sky 1’s Moone Boy and won an Emmy for his performance in Sundance TV’s State of the Union. His other television credits include Girls, The Clinic, FM, Roman’s Empire, Family Tree, and The Twilight Zone. Currently, O’Dowd stars in Epix’s Get Shorty. Additionally, as a voice actor, he can be heard in Monsters vs Aliens. Puffin Rock, and Family Guy.
Moreover, as a movie actor, Chris O’Dowd starred in The Sapphires. He can also be seen in This is 40, Calvary, St. Vincent, Thor: The Dark World, The Cloverfield Paradox, How to Build a Girl, Molly’s Game, The Incredible Jessica James, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Friends with Kids, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Pirate Radio, Gulliver’s Travels, Cuban Fury, and Mascots. O’Dowd also reunited with Rose Byrne in Juliet, Naked. Furthermore, the actor can be heard in Epic, Mary Poppins Returns, and Loving Vincent. Earlier this year, he reunited with Bridesmaids co-star Melissa McCarthy with Netflix’s The Startling. Next, O’Dowd will star in Hippie Hippie Shake and Slumberland.
Ellie Kemper (Becca)
As Becca, an enthusiastic, overeager bridesmaid who’s very excited to be in the bridal party, Ellie Kemper played a happy-go-lucky gal in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. Most notably, she received two Emmy nominations for Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Additionally, Kemper is well-known for playing Erin Hannon in NBC’s The Office. Furthermore, she can be seen in The Mindy Project. As a voice actress, moreover, Kemper can be heard in We Bare Bears and Sofia the First.
Away from TV, Ellie Kemper is known for playing Ms. Griggs in 21 Jump Street. She can also be seen in Sex Tape, Laggies, They Came Together, Somewhere, Identity Thief, Get Him to the Greek, and Mystery Team. Additionally, as a voice actress, Kemper can be heard in The Secret Life of Pets 1 & 2, Smurfs: The Lost Village, The LEGO Batman Movie, and We Bare Bears: The Movie. Most recently, she was seen in The Stand-In. Next, Kemper will star in Disney+’s Home Sweet Home Alone. Currently, the actress is filming Netflix’s Happiness for Beginners.
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Rita)
In the role of Rita, Lillian’s domesticated cousin who’s really, really ready to let loose and have fun, Wendi McLendon-Covey plays a spirited character in 2011’s Bridesmaids. Most notably, the television actress is known for her starring parts in Comedy Central-Quibi’s Reno 911! and ABC’s The Goldbergs. McLendon-Covey can also be seen in Rules of Engagement, Lovespring International, and Modern Family. Additionally, as a voice actress, she has lent her voice to Big City Greens, Puppy Dog Pals, Crossing Swords, Bob’s Burgers, Pickle and Peanut, American Dad!, The Looney Tunes Show, Birdgirl, and, most recently, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.
In film, Wendi McLendon-Covey can be seen in What to Expect When You're Expecting, Bewitched, Think Like a Man Too, Hello My Name Is Doris, What Men Want, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Think Like a Man Too, Reno 911! Miami, and Blended. She also co-wrote, produced, and starred in Cook Off! Most recently, McLendon-Covey was seen in Sylvie’s Love, Braking for Whales, and Long Weekend. Next, the actress will appear in Paint and Sick Girl.
Jon Hamm (Ted)
Playing the part of Ted, Annie’s self-absorbed, dim-witted friend with benefits, Jon Hamm stole the show in his uncredited role in Bridesmaids. Most notably, the actor is acclaimed for his Emmy-winning lead performance as Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men. His other notable TV credits include Black Mirror, A Young Doctor's Notebook, Good Omens, 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Parks and Recreation, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Division, Children’s Hospital, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Additionally, Hamm can be heard in Bless the Harts, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., The Amazing Gayl Pile, Legion, Archer, and Robot Chicken. Most recently, he lent his voice to Amazon Prime’s Invincible.
Furthermore, Jon Hamm’s other film credits include The Town, Tag, The Report, Beirut, Million Dollar Arm, Baby Driver, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Marjorie Prime, Friends with Kids, We Were Soldiers, Ira & Abby, Richard Jewell, Sucker Punch, Lucy in the Sky, Bad Times at the El Royale, and Kissing Jessica Stein. As a voice actor, he's heard in Shrek Forever After and Minions. Most recently, Hamm was seen in The Jesus Roll, Wild Moutain Thyme, and HBO Max’s No Sudden Move. Next, he’ll appear in Top Gun: Maverick, Corner Office, and Confess, Fletch, which he'll also produce. Currently, Hamm is filming Maggie Moore(s).
Rebel Wilson (Brynn)
Playing the part of Brynn, Annie’s immigrant roommate, Rebel Wilson had a pre-fame supporting role in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. Shortly after this film’s release, the actress found fame as Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect movies. Wilson’s other movie credits include Bachelorette, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, How to Be Single, Struck By Lightning, The Brothers Grimsby, Isn’t It Romantic, The Hustle, Jojo Rabbit, Pain & Gain, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and Cats. The actress is also heard in Ice Age: Continental Drift. Next, Wilson will star in Senior Year, which she'll also produce, and The Almond and the Seahorse.
Additionally, on TV, Rebel Wilson wrote, produced, and starred in Bogan Pride. She's also seen in Pizza, The Wedge, and Thank God You’re Here. Furthermore, Wilson created and starred in ABC’s Super Fun Night. Moreover, the actress was the host of Seven Network’s Pooch Perfect and Amazon Prime’s LOL: Australia.
Bridesmaids is available to rent on Amazon.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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