McCarthy: Oscar nomination 'shook my whole life'
05:00 AM, Jan 25, 2013
At this point, Melissa McCarthy is a comedy A-lister, killing it on television and in movies, and even picking up an Oscar nomination last year for her bawdy performance in the hit Bridesmaids. But, as the Illinois native tells Michigan Avenue magazine for its winter issue, she still has plenty of pinch-me moments, especially that surprise trip to the Academy Awards.
McCarthy, who can next be seen in Identity Thief (out Feb.8) opposite Jason Bateman, shares her thoughts on success, motherhood and being a “jerk.”
On hearing her name called as an Oscar nominee: “I was walking through the house because the baby was up, and I saw Ben (Falcone, her husband and Bridesmaids co-star) sitting in front of the TV (as they were) announcing the nominations. They said my name and I didn’t get what had happened — it was more than I could take in. It wasn’t until Octavia (Spencer), who is a dear friend of ours, was nominated that I went, ‘Oh my god, that’s really the Oscar nominations,’ and Ben was just staring at me, and he was like, ‘Honey, what else just happened?’ It just took a minute to connect the dots. And then, I went completely nuts. It just was mind-blowing. The whole process of the Oscars is mind-blowing. It really shook my whole life.”
On her Emmy win for CBS’ Mike & Molly: “Bonkers. Like I still can’t quite believe it. It was so surreal that I was there. You try for so many years to just get a job, then to get on something that you actually like and to get on the air and people seem genuinely to like it, and then you get something like that, I just thought, oh my God, this is too much.”
On working with Bateman and doing her own stunts: “I’m crazy about Jason; he was as smart and funny as I’d always hoped he’d be. It was so hot — we were filming in Atlanta — but it was so fun. I’m pretty good about not breaking, but I tell you what, Bateman can get me. He kind of crushed me. Other than destroying a lot of takes by just blatantly laughing, it was kind of a dream job. There were fist fights and hitting him with a car — I thought there would be a stuntman, and they said, ‘No, if you want, you can just drive your car into his car and hit him.’ I was like, ‘Who else gets to do that?’ I love doing my own stunts, so other than constantly hurting myself, it was really really fun.”
On her Identity Thief character: “It was really fun. I mean, I’m destroying their lives. I’m an identity thief. The fun of it was kind of trying to figure out what’s redeemable in that person — how does she justify it? … She doesn’t start and end anywhere near the same place. It was fun (to be the bad guy). I beat Jason up. I took cheap shots at him. I kept suggesting, what if I punch him? What if I punch him in the throat? And Seth (Gordon, the director) goes, ‘Great!’ So it was kind of amazing to play a jerk.”
On the magic of motherhood: “It’s extreme everything. It’s extremely tiring. It’s extremely overwhelming in a good way. It’s everything you hear when this crazy creature shows up and you just can’t — I just can’t imagine or quite remember [what it was like] prior to that. And all the chaos and the noise and the nuttiness, it just somehow makes it all better. I’ve done away with sleep and I tell myself I don’t need it. Because you just don’t sleep when you have two kids. But they’re just so funny. The bigger they get, the weirder and the funnier and their true personalities come out. And they just surprise me every day. There’s nothing quite like it.”