Thursday, January 31, 2013

Melissa McCarthy for Michigan Avenue February 2013

On her comic idols: "Gilda Radner, Madeline Kahn, Jane Curtin—who I just got to work with this summer. She played my mom in a movie, and I held it together the whole time. But at the end, she was leaving, and I burst out crying, saying 'Saturday Night Live was such a big part of shaping what I thought was funny my whole life.' I’m making a scene, and she says, 'You know, I have one more day.' And I thought, Well, perfect. I’m making a jackass of myself yet again. Also Teri Garr, to me, was just perfect. She could be that grounded character, so funny but such a good actress and just kind of magic. I love all of those women."

On winning an Emmy for "Mike and 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, to get it on the air, people seem genuinely to like it, and then you get [an Emmy]—I just thought, Oh, my God. This is too much."

On her reaction to her Oscar nomination: "I was walking through the house because our baby [Georgette] was up, and I saw Ben 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 shook my whole life."

On her family: "I’m really close to my family—they’re great, and I’m lucky that way. My dad is completely nuts, and he’s [basically] wearing a sandwich board with the Mike & Molly poster on it. He’s very proud and very verbal, and I apologize to anyone who he accosts. My mom says it takes him 14 seconds to randomly bring it up. Someone stops him and asks for directions, and somehow he answers, “Have you ever watched Mike & Molly?” I think they have to be just wildly relieved that I’m okay and making a living doing this crazy thing. They were always so supportive, but I could just see in their eyes that they were like, Acting? You? They’re so sweet, but I think they’re just thrilled that I get to do exactly what I want and that I can keep my lights turned on."

On 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 I just can’t imagine or quite remember what it was like prior to that. The chaos, the noise, and the nuttiness, it just somehow makes it all better. I’ve done away with sleep; I tell myself I don’t need it because you just don’t sleep when you have two kids. But they’re so funny. The bigger they get, the weirder and the funnier they get, and their true personalities come out. They surprise me every day. There’s nothing quite like it."

On growing up on a farm: "[We didn’t have to do] so much farm stuff—my older sister, Margie, and I did all the things every other little kid has to do: We had to help dust and clean and vacuum. But we always had nine million cats.... I think, at some point, we were up to like 25 cats! Outside, that is. We weren’t crazy. It was great for a farm, because there were mice and all these other things, and people would bring strays out to us because they knew we had a big farm, and my mom would take them. It was kind of horrifying, because all through school when people would drive me home for the first time, I always remember thinking, Oh, no. They’re going to see the cats. They’re going to see the cats."

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