Melissa McCarthy Worked on Such a ‘Volatile, Hostile Set’ It Made Her ‘Physically Ill’
Melissa McCarthy said she once worked with a person who ran such a “volatile, hostile set,” it made her “physically ill.”
In a new interview with The Guardian, McCarthy didn’t name any names, or drop any hints, but vividly recalled the grueling experience of working for this person. “My eyes were swelling up, I was absorbing all of this nuttiness,” she said. “There are people weeping, visibly so upset by this one person.”
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The worst part of it, McCarthy, said, was the way this person succesfully manipulated her and others: “To get to me, this person would fire people I loved, which kept me quiet. It was very effective. Then one day, I was like, ‘It stops today!’ I just kept saying to them, it stops, it stops. And I know now I’ll never keep quiet again.”
McCarthy added that she and her husband/collaborator have a process in place to ensure such people don’t end up working on the projects they spearhead together. When vetting potential hires, McCarthy said they perform a “crazy check” to ensure the candidate is actually nice.
As she put it: “You know, we were so astounded and grateful at getting to build our own little worlds, we were like, ‘We have to build the one we’ve always talked about, where everybody gets to have an opinion and everyone is really nice. It’s going to run a lot better with no screamers or crazy egos bumbling around. Why would we risk destroying that?’”
Elsewhere in the interview, McCarthy discussed her turn as Ursula in the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, as well as the racist culture war backlash the film and its star — Halle Bailey — have been subjected to. (Which isn’t dissimilar from the racist, misogynist vitriol directed at the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot starring McCarthy.)
“I hate any kind of injustice,” she said. “And people attacking someone for just trying to be who they truly are. What does it matter to them? Do no harm, be kind — if everyone just followed those two rules, we’d be fine. Not, ‘you can’t read this book’, ‘You can’t talk about certain histories.’ I don’t have any patience for all that.”
She added: “Can you imagine if everybody was just kind for one week? The difference would be so unbelievable I don’t even know how it would feel. And the weird thing is, it’s just… not that hard to do?”
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