Kristen Wiig is primarily known for her comedic performances. She got her start on Saturday Night Live before making a name for herself in major films like Bridesmaids and MacGruber. Landing the role of Barbara Minerva in Wonder Woman 1984 is really her first action-oriented performance, and as such, she needed to prepare in a very different manner than the one to which she's accustomed.
According to a recent interview with The New York Times, Wiig was more than up for the challenge. She discussed how she's been a fan of superhero movies for awhile and has always wanted to star in one, so the chance to play such an iconic villain was a dream come true. When asked about the physical training she had to undertake for the role, she responded, “Almost two months before we started shooting, I got a trainer — the movie wanted me to, just to get started. When you watch the movie, we learned and did all of those fight sequences, in addition to our stunt people. There's definitely some C.G.I. elements later on, but for the most part it's wire work. That's all real people.”
Wiig went on to say, “I was basically sore for like nine months. And it's very easy to complain and say, oh my God, I can't even walk up the stairs. But to be honest, being stronger was so helpful, to get into who this character was. It just made me feel really good.” Wiig's Cheetah proves to be a formidable adversary for Wonder Woman, and their fight scenes are some of the highlights of the film.
While Gadot and director Patty Jenkins will return for Wonder Woman 3, there's no word yet on whether Barbara Minerva will come back. For the time being, you can see Wiig show off all her training in Wonder Woman 1984, which is available to watch on HBO Max through January 24, 2021.