Plainfield, Illinois. To most, that town elicits no reaction except it sounds like the typical small, Midwestern community that we’re all happy we didn’t grow up in. To others, Plainfield, Illinois is the single greatest town in this country for one single reason: it is the birthplace of Melissa McCarthy.
At first glance, McCarthy and her 5’2” tall frame may not be what you first think of when you hear the phrase “Hollywood Darling.” However, thanks to consistent comedic roles that increasingly show her in more outlandish roles than the previous, a Hollywood heavyweight is exactly what she has become. From her breakout role as the eccentric yet lovable Sookie St. James in the television show Gilmore Girls to her portrayal of Molly Flynn-Biggs in Mike & Molly (which won her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series), McCarthy has proved that she is a master of the small screen.
However, no article about Melissa McCarthy could possibly be complete without mentioning the movie that catapulted her from being a talented television star to one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood: Bridesmaids. It was in this female-led smash comedy that McCarthy’s true genius at outrageous and physical comedy was broadcast around the world. Providing her with instant success and fame, Bridesmaids also earned McCarthy a much-deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress nomination for portraying the odd, in-your-face, and constantly surprising Megan.
While it is crystal clear to anyone who has seen McCarthy act that she deserves all the accolades she has been receiving, it needs to be recognized that McCarthy’s success has signaled a change in Hollywood. By continually demonstrating her unwavering dedication to physical comedy and fearlessly throwing herself into scenes that make her look absolutely ridiculous, McCarthy exemplifies the notion that you can be a beloved star without having to look a certain way to do it. Her immense amount of talent overshadows that she doesn’t exactly look the part of the typical Hollywood movie star. Earning accolades from her peers, winning over critics, and becoming a household name across America, Melissa McCarthy is a model of how to attain success by sheer talent alone.
Perhaps more exciting than her Oscar nomination, though, was Jason Bateman’s response to McCarthy’s role in Bridesmaids. After seeing the film, Bateman recognized McCarthy’s talent and wide audience appeal and helped get her cast in their upcoming movie, Identity Thief. Based on the previews alone, it’s already clear that McCarthy is going to continue her streak of hit comedies by doing what she does best: outrageous, animated, and excitable physical comedy. Identity Thief is a movie that should not be missed, and will help cement her as more than a one-hit movie wonder.
Originally published here: http://hercampus.com/school/northeastern/melissa-mccarthy-hollywood-s-newest-funny-woman