The unlikely success of Melissa McCarthy: how the actress who nobody wanted to dress ended up being the highest paid in Hollywood | Celebrities, Vips

“Bride of America”. That is the qualification that the American film press has given for decades to those actresses who managed to dazzle critics and audiences with their charm and talent. From Mary Pickford to Jennifer Lawrence, through Doris Day, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston, there have been numerous interpreters who have entered an archetype that never needed a tagline or correction despite the logical differences between them. Until it came Melissa McCarthy, which does not pale before those mentioned in terms of skills or box office numbers, but whose physique awoke in a journalist the imperative need to retouch the archetype: “America’s Plus Size Bride.” Used to being embarrassed about being overweight ever since she arrived in the Los Angeles hills, she has stopped caring. “In my twenties I used to cry lamenting that I wasn’t thinner or prettier. A decade of crying… I was an idiot ”, confessed an interpreter who has defied predictions, slights and clichés to become one of the great stars of Hollywood. Fortunately for us, his last decade has been laughable.

The performer poses with her husband, and regular creative collaborator, Ben Falcone. Photo: Getty

Melissa McCarthy celebrates ten years in 2021 as one of the biggest stars in international cinema. The credit is twofold, considering that he has faced the most embarrassing list of disparagements in Hollywood today. In her first appearance on the red carpet at the Oscars, back in 2012 and on the occasion of her nomination for best supporting actress for My best friend’s Wedding, could not find any firm that wanted to dress her for such an occasion. “I asked five or six designers – all high-level and who make dresses for a lot of people – and they all said no”, revealed the American, who ended up wearing a flowing dress by Marina Rinaldi, in the magazine Redbook. To alleviate the discrimination that overweight women are subjected to, McCarthy put her fashion studies into practice at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology to launch the Seven7 brand, with collections aimed at women of all sizes and available in department stores. from the country like Macy’s or Walmart.

Born and raised 50 years ago on a farm in a Plainfield, Illinois cornfield, an hour’s drive southwest of Chicago, it wasn’t until she was in her twenties that she moved to New York to pursue her dream of being an actress. . He tried it in comedy clubs where he had to put up with the macho comments that women who get on stage usually face (“there was no performance in which a guy didn’t yell at me to take off my shirt”) and survive in the Big Apple with the –mean– income she made as a waitress or babysitter. “I remember when the cashier did not allow me to withdraw even five dollars because my account did not even reach that”, evoked in the American edition of InStyle. An agent advised her to lose weight if she wanted to work in the industry but, defying the physical and age stereotypes (she was 30 years old) that usually rule Hollywood, she managed to carve a niche thanks to her role as cook Sookie St. James in Gilmore girls.

‘The Gilmore girls’ was the first relevant role of the actress. Foto: The CW

But it was her scene stealing role as Megan, the most brutal and brash of the bridesmaids starring in My best friend’s Wedding, which now celebrates ten years since its premiere turned into one of the most influential and praised comedies of this century, the one that catapulted him to fame. A work qualified as “excellent” by means such as The New York Times, which opened the door to a large number of comedies starring women proving wrong that myth that said that women were not as funny as men. Among them, several starring McCarthy as Spy O Special bodies, who witnessed her transformation from a worthy supporting actress to the creative force behind her own projects. To the lack of leading roles for women of her size, she answered with the same solution as to the scarcity of garments: creating them herself. The executive producer of most of her films, it is perhaps a consequence of her youthful financial hardships that she has no qualms about declaring that she “loves” money. “I am very ambitious. I love my job and I want to improve every time. We always joke with my husband that I am a shark, ”she says.

In the annual lists produced by the magazine Forbes On Hollywood’s top-earning performers, McCarthy has become a regular in the top five, cementing her status as a major cinema star ahead of figures like Meryl Streep. In the 2020 ranking, it ranks fourth, with revenues of $ 25 million (about € 21 million)., thanks to the program Little Big Shots of the NBC, in which she acts as presenter, and the premiere of Thunder Patrol, his next comedy that will be released next month on Netflix. The film, in which she gives life to a superheroine, will be her fifth film under the command of her husband, also the actor and director Ben Falcone, father of her two daughters and whom she married in 2005. Bearing in mind that in 2022 the series is pending release Nine Perfect Strangers with Nicole Kidman and the expected remake in real action of The little Mermaid, in which she will play the iconic villain Úrsula, her presence in this type of classification seems assured.

Her work as Megan in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” earned McCarthy an Oscar nomination. Foto: Universal Pictures

Not only has her overweight been an obstacle to her landing lead roles, she has been embarrassed about it even as a popular face on the big screen. “Doesn’t it surprise you that you can have a job in this industry despite your tremendous size?”a journalist asked him. “Why do you always have the need to be so grotesque?” Asked another. “Nobody asked John Goodman about his contour,” she replies, who considers such comments a sign of the sexism that continues to prevail in the industry. In case any more evidence of the hostility with which its success has been received by some media is needed, a review by the critic of the Observer Rex Reed. As she busted the box office with the thick stroke comedy By the face, in which she played a compulsive shopper who stole the identity of a commercial agent, Reed called her a “hippopotamus”, “tractor” and assured that “she had focused her short career on being obese and obnoxious with equal success”.

Overcoming these types of comments, McCarthy has managed to reconcile his facet as a box-office comedian titan – his leading roles have grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide – with films that have earned him the backing of academics such as Can you ever forgive me?, based on the true story of a forger who earned her her second Oscar nomination. In addition to having won two Emmy Awards, she has also been nominated multiple times for the Golden Globes or the Bafta, demonstrating a versatility of interpretive registers that go far beyond mere comic relief and the lack of respect for her work shown on the one hand. of criticism.

On April 9, the actress returns to the screen in ‘Thunder Patrol’, along with Octavia Spencer. Foto: Netflix

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The unlikely success of Melissa McCarthy: how the actress who nobody wanted to dress ended up being the highest paid in Hollywood | Celebrities, Vips