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Sparky McCarthy!

The words ‘why not?’ feature strongly in her vocabulary. Discover why comedy genius Melissa McCarthy refuses to play it safe – and why she is so much more than the role that made her famous.

Biddi Rorke
Her characters are resolutely anti-glamour and invariably a bit manic. Her attitude to real life is sparky, off-the-wall and infectious. Now, after punching numerous people in the throat (Identity Thief) careening around after other-worldy beings (Ghostbusters) and liberating her inner sleuth (Spy), Melissa McCarthy commands the screen in Life of the Party, with a hilarious portrayal of a 40-something divorcee who returns to college with her daughter.

‘I really like the idea of showing somebody challenging herself and reinventing herself at my age,’ the Oscar nominated comedienne explains. ‘Because why not?!’

Loveable Deanna is the result of another successful team effort with her director husband, writing partner, co-parent and occasional co-actor, Ben Falcone. And the hysterical connections that made the couple so funny to watch in Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy and Tammy (Ben played cameo roles in all of them) seems to leak from their warm off-screen relationship.

‘She’s the first person I want to tell any idea to,’ Ben says of his wife of 13 years. She’s a livewire; what she’s seeing, she’s reacting to. What she’s hearing, she’s reacting to. That’s what makes her an amazing actress. She’s really honest, really positive and she’s so talented and funny… She’s my muse.’

The pair met and worked together at The Groundlings, the famous LA improv school that unleashed the likes of Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow on the world.

‘We met putting on terrible wigs and doing really hideous characters,’ Melissa says. ‘I thought: if we actually liked each other and wanted to date after seeing each other do these characters, there’s got to be something there.’

Fast-forward almost 20 years, and the couple is thriving in their Hollywood partnership. In fact, they’re the most successful husband-and-wife comedy team in the business.

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June 2018

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