Movies

Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and 4 other 'SNL' vets who got serious on the big screen

July 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM ET

About two minutes into Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader's new trailer for "The Skeleton Twins," the pair gloriously and goofily start lip-syncing to Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." And that is hilarious! But the rest of the film doesn't look so funny at all: The pair play estranged twins who've been considering suicide.

"Saturday Night Live" veterans going serious? It's not as unusual as you might think. Here are just a few fellow show grads who fared extremely well when they went all dramatic.

Bill Murray
The king of whatever medium he wants to play in (including wedding-crashing videos), Murray ventured into drama early in his career with 1984's "The Razor's Edge," which didn't exactly wow the critics. Then he roared back in 2003's "Lost in Translation," with a effort that critic Roger Ebert called "one of the most exquisitely controlled performances in recent movies."

Adam Sandler
Most of Sandler's movies stick close to his expertise: juvenile boy-men learning something about themselves. But P.T. Anderson's "Punch-Drunk Love" in 2002 used Sandler's talents to tell the story of a lonely novelty item salesman with anger management issues. "Sandler has talent beyond his in-your-face past vehicles," said USA Today.

Sign up for top Entertainment news direct to your inbox 

Steve Martin
The "wild and crazy guy" turned out to be a terrific leading man in 2005's "Shopgirl," which put his well-dressed businessman in a love triangle with salesgirl Claire Danes and a socially awkward Jason Schwartzman. Since Martin wrote the screenplay (which was based on his novella) and co-produced the film, it's no surprise that he looks darn good in it. But his performance is what made most people sit up and take notice: The New York Times said Martin was an "acute comic miniaturist."

Maya Rudolph
Paired with "The Office's" John Krasinski, Rudolph played a pregnant woman who travels around the country with her significant other looking for a place to raise their family. The film came and went quickly in 2009, but not before Newsday said she lent "depth and complexity" to the story.

"The Skeleton Twins" opens in theaters on Sept. 19.

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter 

TOP