Her first memory of working an audience was cracking up her parents. Her aunt left the room and she did a spot-on impersonation.
"I don't even change my material," Wilson says. "I still do the same impression of her."
Yet, Wilson thought she "would do very serious dramas, and I was always the girl in the Sam Shepard play," she says. "In college, I did darker stuff. I went to the Yale summer drama program, and the teacher there (said), 'You should do comedy.' And I had never thought about it. All of my favorite actresses are comedians at heart: Shirley MacLaine and Madeline Kahn, Diane Keaton and Debra Winger. And they are all amazing dramatic actresses, but everything they do is funny."
A high-school star -- she was class president and played field hockey -- Wilson went to NYU, but when she arrived in Greenwich Village, was taken aback.
"I remember feeling I wouldn't have wanted to go to NYU if I weren't doing acting," Wilson says. "All of my friends were going to mixers and ice cream socials. I never met the people who lived down the hall from me. I was startled by the lack of community spirit. There was no campus spirit. You're just thrown into Washington Square Park. As college went on, I felt lucky and independent to be in New York."
Like her favorite actresses, she made a pretty funny choice there. Wilson joined a sorority at a university that has precious few, and a Jewish one, even though she is a gentile.
Favorite movies: " 'Terms of Endearment' and 'Annie Hall,' and I love 'Being There.' "
Favorite books: " 'The Stone Diaries' by Carol Shields, and I love 'The Great Gatsby' and anything by Anne Tyler."
Favorite music: "I love old country. I just went and saw Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson. I hadn't really gotten my head into him, but he is so cute. I love Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Adele."