Melissa McCarthy is a trailblazer in the world of comedy. Since her breakout performance in 2011's Bridesmaids, the 42-year-old actress has won an Emmy Award for her role on CBS' Mike & Molly and scored a No. 1 hit movie with 2013's Identity Thief. In the July/August issue of More, McCarthy opens up about her career trajectory, her much-scrutinized weight and her seven-year marriage to fellow actor Ben Falcone (with whom she has two daughters, Vivian, 6, and Georgette, 3).
The Illinois native says she's proud to be an inspiration to young comedic actresses struggling to make it in Hollywood. "The letters I really love are from young actresses who were worried they had to fit a certain look. They say I've opened it up. And I don't just mean plus-size girls," McCarthy tells the magazine. "You can push things now. With all the great performances in Bridesmaids, it changed how people see funny women."
Though her weight often makes headlines (The New York Observer's film critic Rex Reed called her "tractor-sized" and "a hippo" in his scathing review of Identity Thief), McCarthy insists her weight isn't an issue. "I've been every size in the world. Parts of my twenties, I was in great shape, but I didn't appreciate it. If I was a 6 or an 8, I thought, 'Why aren't I a 2 or a 4?'" she recalls. "Now I feel like I have two great kids and the dreamiest husband on the planet, and everything else is just a work in progress."
By the time she reached 40, McCarthy says she stopped focusing on "the stupid stuff I worried about at 20, because at 20 you don't have any responsibilities, so of course you're a shallow narcissist. You can't appreciate anything, you're so self-absorbed. I bought into it — I should be taller, thinner, have better hair. But I think that's part of being young." The actress adds, "Now, especially with kids, you lose any sense of time or energy to worry about all the little stuff. It's like the chip was taken out."
McCarthy credits her husband with helping her keep things in perspective. "I got hit with the lucky stick with Ben," she says. Falcone tells the magazine, "We got hit with the same lucky stick. From the very first time we spoke, we were on the same page. We love each other, respect each other and try not to sweat the small stuff. And we really make each other laugh."
The star spouses aren't the only ones laughing. McCarthy and costar Sandra Bullock are already getting raves for their new buddy-cop comedy The Heat (in theaters June 28). "I did not want to play two dingbats who suck at their jobs," McCarthy tells More. "I'd rather watch a character be good at something and be challenged — there's more to play in that."
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