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The Iconic Paul Feig Movie That Almost Never Happened

Explosive food poisoning in a pristine bridal salon. An absolute meltdown on an airplane. An eleventh hour appearance by Wilson Phillips. "Bridesmaids" has everything — and it also almost didn't happen.

A world without "Bridesmaids," the insanely successful Paul Feig-Judd Apatow comedy that finally proved leading ladies can be just as wild as their male counterparts, seems unimaginable, but according to Feig himself, the project almost didn't come to pass. Let that sink in: we almost missed out on a movie where an extremely intoxicated Kristen Wiig keeps calling a flight attendant "Stove."

During an interview with actor Justin Long on his podcast "Life is Short with Justin Long," Feig revealed that it was actually pretty tough to get the project off the ground, and it even sat in limbo for a little while. Luckily for everyone, "Bridesmaids" eventually got made, but according to Feig, it was a lengthy journey when all was said and done.

Paul Feig waited a long time to makes Bridesmaids

As Feig told Long, "When I was in post production on 'Unaccompanied Minors,' [Judd Apatow] called me up and said, 'Hey, do you want to come do a table read for this movie that Kristen Wiig wrote?' Because she was actually in 'Unaccompanied Minors' for two seconds and he said, 'I know you want to work with women, you really like these stories, come watch!' And so we went to the table read of it and I really liked it...I just remember going, 'Oh my God, look at all these roles for great women up there! This would be great!'"

There was one problem: when Apatow asked Feig to direct the movie, the latter was forced to say no. "So Judd said, 'Would you want to shepherd it?'" Feig revealed. "I said, 'I don't have time to right now, but when it comes up I'd like to do it.' And then my career kind of cratered from [Unaccompanied Minors] bombing, Kristen was on 'SNL,' and so there was a long pause, like three years where it just wasn't going to happen. And I remember Judd even saying, I was like 'What happened to the movie?' He was like, 'Eh, I don't think it's going to happen.' But then I just got a call out of the blue in 2010, my agent's going, 'You know that wedding movie is alive again?'"

Thankfully, Bridesmaids got made — and became a huge hit

When Long asked about what it was like to actually make the movie, Feig had plenty to say. "I came on board, went and met with Kristen to see if she was cool with it and she was, I didn't know if she wanted me to do it," Feig replied. "But she was doing 'SNL,' so Annie Mumolo [Wiig's cowriter on the film] was in LA with us. So we kind of started this room to work on the script, get it in good shape. So we were working with Annie, Judd, myself and a couple of other people were there, just kicking ideas around and working on stuff. And then we, through Annie, would put a new thing together then send it off to Kristen, then she and Annie would get together over the phone or however they did it pre-Zoom and work on the script."

Ultimately, it's a good thing "Bridesmaids" got made after all; working off a modest budget of $32.5 million, the film grossed over $288 million and performed well with critics, even earning Academy Award nominations for Wiig and Mumolo's script and Melissa McCarthy's deeply weird supporting performance. It's jarring, though, to realize how close we all came to a world without "Bridesmaids."