Like many actors and actresses in Hollywood, Melissa McCarthy revealed she finds that playing a character who is the complete opposite of herself is the most rewarding role, and that’s just the case with The Boss. In the new comedy from director and writer Ben Falcone, McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a foul-mouthed, much too outspoken executive. Melissa’s The Boss character gets herself into some very troubling situations because she can’t control her temper or her mouth, but Ms. McCarthy says she’s nothing like that in real life.
The Boss Star Melissa McCarthy Is Normally Much More Reserved…Honestly
Ms. McCarthy played another wild rebel in 2014’s Tammy, which makes that role another favorite for Melissa because she enjoys exploring those parts of her personality that don’t normally get very much exercise. Even her character inThe Boss has its charm, says McCarthy, because she gets to say things that Melissa herself doesn’t often say, even at home.
“I have two little girls, so we don’t say ‘shut up,'” McCarthy explained. “We can’t say anything at home, and I don’t speak like that at all.”
The Boss actress says that the joy of acting is in exploring personalities that are polar opposites of who she really is as a person. It’s an outlet, of sorts, allowing Melissa to relieve stress on camera for the entertainment of all.
“Part of the fun of acting is you get to play these characters that kick in doors, say insane things, swear like a sailor – it is the opposite of me.”
The Boss‘ McCarthy adds that playing someone more like herself would be boring and tedious. She says getting to explore someone like Michelle Darnell, someone with no barriers, keeps her job interesting.
The Boss Star Melissa McCarthy On That Kristen Bell Boob Fight
The Boss was co-written by McCarthy in conjunction with Ben Falcone, who also happens to be Melissa’s husband, so the actress is the one to go to with any questions about this comedy, including the boob fight that has so many of McCarthy’s fans talking. The scene involves Claire (Bell) being berated by Michelle (McCarthy) for her date attire, and the insults degenerate into Michelle groping Claire in a way that most girls learn is inappropriate at ages 13 or 14. For Darnell, she lacked that social conditioning, so McCarthy says she never learned to control her impulses.
“I don’t know if anyone’s had a boob fight [on screen before]. I can’t think of one, but if there’s been a boob fight, it’s been like, slap-and-tickle pillow fights at sororities,” says The Boss actress. “To me, that’s the kind of thing that at, like, fourteen, you learn is inappropriate. But Michelle never had friends. Twenty years later, she’s having weird teenage stuff happen. It was like, ‘I guess you help your friends with their boobs.'”
Ms. McCarthy also responded to the question of The Boss serving as a look into gender equality and feminism in the workplace, in spite of it being a comedy. The Boss actress says she hopes the film can be a little of both, because she does feel it’s important for women to become bolder in going after what they want. Melissa says women should be able to go after promotions and raises without feeling the need to apologize for wanting equal treatment.
While she does feel that women deserve equality in all things, McCarthy is quick to add that women shouldn’t expect to have things just handed to them. Melissa says women should be prepared and willing to work hard for what they want.
“I remember calling my parents at twenty and being like, ‘I’m not going back to school. I tried stand-up last night. I’m going to be an actress.’ And they were like, ‘All right. Well, work your butt off. It’s going to be hard, but you can do it.’ And I think I buy that. If you work hard enough, you can achieve, and I hope that message is in there.”
The Boss, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, and Peter Dinklage, hits theaters on April 8.
[Image by Mike Coppola / Getty Images]