Melissa McCarthy in Universal Pictures' 'Identity Thief'
Though Melissa McCarthy has been steadily stealing scenes on big and little screens since the late 90s, her Oscar nominated performance in “Bridesmaids” propelled the Emmy winning actress into a whole new stratosphere of popularity.
Now McCarthy stars opposite Jason Bateman in the R-rated road-trip comedy “Identity Thief,” which opens wide this weekend. We all know McCarthy has a long scene-stealing future ahead of her, but here’s five facts about her that you might not know.
1. In high school, McCarthy was the head cheerleader, until she gave it up to become a full-on Goth. “I got real Gothic, “ McCarthy told Jimmy Kimmel. “I loved cheerleading, so I was kind of sad, but I didn’t know how to justify it with my new Goth lifestyle.” McCarthy delves into her full Goth regalia in the clip above.
Fishing Off the Company Pier
2. McCarthy is married to fellow “Bridesmaids” scene stealer Ben Falcone, aka Air Marshall Jon. The dynamic duo doesn’t just act in films and make kids together (they have two), they’re also writing and producing partners. The power couple currently has a number of projects in production, including “Tammy,” a film they wrote together that pairs McCarthy with Shirley MacClaine, slated for release later this year. “Tammy is a feature I wrote with my husband, Ben. I write with him quite a bit. We were writing together at Groundlings before we started dating. It’s always been easy, we both have different strengths, and we work really well together. I know some people think it’s a terrible idea, but I love it,” McCarthy told Deadline. You can see the couple's chemistry in the "Bridesmaids" clip above.
Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in Universal Pictures' …
It's Who You Know
3. Of course, The Groundlings is the illustrious Los Angeles based improv and sketch comedy group that’s been home to some of the biggest names in comedy, including Will Ferrell, Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman), and Phil Hartman. McCarthy and Falcone are far from the only “Bridesmaids” alums to emerge from the troupe: Krisitin Wiig (Annie), Maya Rudolph (Lillian), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Rita), and writer Annie Mumolo are also savvy Groundlings veterans.
Buddy Cop Bullock
4. Apparently, McCarthy likes to keep things familiar, as she’s reteaming with “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig to star in this summer’s “The Heat.” The fresh take on the buddy cop genre finds McCarthy playing a tough and testy Boston detective forced to go crime-fighting with Sandra Bullock’s straight-laced FBI agent. You can see what kind of hijinks are in store from the trailer above.
[Related: Most Painful Road Trip Movie Moments]
Jenny McCarthy, courtesy of Jarett Wieselman
Did We Mention: It's Who You Know?
5. Melissa isn’t the only McCarthy in Hollywood. Playmate, game show hostess, and actress Jenny McCarthy is actually Melissa’s cousin. In fact, as she explained to Crave Online, Jenny gave Melissa her first big break: "When she moved out to L.A. I was about to do my MTV sketch show. [Melissa] said, 'I want to move to L.A., I want to get a break.' And I said, 'Why don’t you come on as a PA on the show and see how everything works, how the machine works.’ So she came on as a PA and worked on my sketch show for 22 episodes and then towards the end, she’s like, 'I want to do a couple sketches.' I’m like, 'You got it.' So I put her in a couple sketches and I was like oh, this (b****) is grrreat.'"
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