After a year of isolation and division, Melissa McCarthy is more determined than ever to make us laugh. Gracing the cover of InStyle’s April issue, the iconic actress opens up on her latest projects, quarantine life and finding a home away from home in Australia.
On being a comedian in a year of hardships: “You don’t have to like what I do, or you don’t have to like comedy. But you need to be able to laugh at something. Ben and I talk about it a lot from the perspective of ‘Will this make somebody happy? Can somebody at the end of an 18-hour ER shift just check out and laugh for, you know, an hour?’ It’s the one thing we can try to do, and we try to do our best. I’m not smart enough to know how to purify the water, but I can throw myself down a flight of stairs and hope that it lets someone forget their troubles.”
On why she sees violence and hate as a real virus: “I know COVID-19 is the virus, but the real virus is the violence and the hatred. If anything’s going to extinguish us as a species, it’s that. If somebody said, ‘All you have to do is wear this headwrap and you can cure cancer,’ people would be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing. We would do anything for that.’ And we’re saying, ‘There’s up to an 80 percent chance for this disease to decrease if you just wear this little 3-by-5-inch piece of fabric until we figure it out.’ Somehow that’s become an infringement on someone’s rights.” “I think the scariest thing about all of this more so than even COVID is that I truly didn’t think people hated each other that much or hated the idea of people who they don’t even know. I always wonder, ‘Do racists know anyone of a different color?’ People who are homophobic: ‘Do you know anyone gay or bi or trans? Do you know these people, or is it the great unknown?’ I think the next 10 years of our lives have to be spent figuring out why people are so angry and also checking on mental illness.”
On living in Australia: “It has changed my entire concept of being. Everything can feel like home. I am connected to Australia in a way that I didn’t anticipate. I could very easily live here for the rest of my life. I’m in love with it. Everyone is so chatty. I’m a Midwestern gal who lives in L.A., where no one wants to talk to you. And here I’ll be in the grocery store, and I can’t go down a single aisle without talking to somebody. It’s wonderful. I come home, and I will have had 15 conversations.”
On the 10-year anniversary of Bridesmaids: “That film instilled the best lesson of you just have to let things be what they are, because it wasn’t supposed to work like that. Annie [Mumolo] and Kristen wrote it, and they had never written anything before. And it was like, ‘We’re going to let your weirdness ride.’ And people on set were laughing and crying full-out in almost every scene because everybody felt so free and there wasn’t a lot of pressure. Certainly, nobody thought it was going to be a game changer. The fit was just perfect.”
The April issue of InStyle is available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download March 19.
Cover 1: Romance Was Born Blanket Jacket | Ten Pieces Dress | Cartier Bracelet (right hand) | All other bracelets and rings, her own
Cover 2: Hanifa Dress | Gucci Sunglasses | Cartier Earrings | Diamond studs, her own | Rings, her own
Image: Romance Was Born Tunic | Valentino Garavani Belt
[Photo Credit: Charles Dennington for InStyle Magazine]