No one emulates a woman on top like MELISSA MCCARTHY, who
produces, co-writes and plays Michelle Darnell in new cinema hit The
Boss. Here, she tells us how she owns it in Hollywood.
82 IRISH TATLER JULY 2016
WHO WAS YOUR CHARACTER MICHELLE bathroom humour and stuff like that. That is not
DARNELL BASED ON? my thing and somebody else might make it very
MM: She was kind of based on an amalgamation funny. I think it’s somewhat interesting
of women. I love a woman that is unapologetically sometimes that a woman, speaking very frankly
in charge and I think culturally we do a very strange and sexually is often said to be crude. I think if a
thing where women often apologise or try to soften guy said most of the things, I don’t think
their authority. You certainly don’t see it portrayed anybody would even mention it. I think we are
in film a lot. I am not saying it’s not seen in real constantly evaluating is it funny and does it show
life, but you rarely see it in films and in characters that, especially for Michelle Darnell.
where she’s not just a raving crazy person. EVEN WITH THE KIDS, IN THIS PARTICULAR
AS YOU’VE BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL AND FILM?
HAVE TAKEN ON MORE PROJECTS, YOU’VE MM: I thought it was, because swearing in front
BECOME THE BOSS. DO YOU THINK YOU DO of those kids was a challenge. After each take we
A GOOD JOB AT BEING THE BOSS? would tell the kids, ‘don’t really say this’. I think
MM: Hopefully I am good at being a boss. I think they cared less than I did. I wanted to show
I expect a lot from people but I also have a lot of Michelle not having that sense with children. She
amazing people around me that are always has no filter and has never been around a child.
surprising me and always pushing my expectations. People that never, ever have been around children
I think we all push each other pretty hard. I think don’t know what to do with them and they don’t
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people know how to talk to them.
that aren’t like ‘oh, that’s good enough’. None of
us think that way. Whether it be in my clothing I always remember watching this woman who
line, or if I am writing or even if I am acting was very wealthy and very done in every moment
something, I have a constant need to re-evaluate. of her life, and I worked in the vicinity of
I am always a fiddler and I keep thinking ‘I like somewhere where she would come all the time.
this, could I love it?’ I can’t stop picking at it. I remember her just giving this big box of Godiva
Chocolates to a two-year-old. And I thought my
ON THE REVERSE SIDE, YOU HAVE PROBABLY God! I was so fascinated, because you don’t give
HAD SOME BAD BOSSES IN YOUR LIFE. a two-year-old a box of chocolates. It was that
MM: I have had some doozies. I can take a pretty disconnect that I think is something that I kind
demanding boss if they are fair. Ben [Falcone, of played with Michelle Darnell. She constantly
Melissa’s husband] has a phrase “fists of justice”, says the wrong thing and assumes that we can
meaning somebody can be hard, but if they are speak freely. She didn’t have that kindness to her.
right and I didn’t do a good job I will never back I thought she could never be aware how you treat
down from that. I will say you are right, I did it children because she didn’t have the same thing
wrong, I could have done it better. Or if somebody done to her when she was a child. And it was
is really demanding and they want it a certain way really important that we always had Claire [the
and I’m working for them; that’s fair, you hired other main character in the film] correcting her,
me to do it, so I want to do it right. But if someone so the world stayed normal and the world was
is unfair or is not listening or asking for saying,‘my God, don’t swear, you don’t say that’.
unreasonable things, that’s when I would But Michelle had no association with how you
occasionally say that is not within reason, or you actually treat children.
can’t be mad at me for something I can’t change.
YOUR CHARACTER MICHELLE IS ALWAYS
YOU’RE KNOW FOR PUSHING BOUNDARIES IN TURTLENECKS...IS THAT A NEW FASHION
IN COMEDY AND IN FILMS. HOW DO YOU TREND?
KNOW JUST HOW DARING YOU CAN TAKE MM: I really love a woman that sets her style at
IT? MM: There’s an editing process to how far a certain point, whatever age she might be, and
we can push the comedy and the character at all really locks into something. She knows she looks
times. We are constantly trying to give ourselves good. I love when a woman has a style all her
levels and it’s funny because so many people say own and doesn’t care. You can tell that she has a
I do crude. I am so not crude. [Laughs] So as a kind of kick in her step and she loves how she
person I don’t think it’s crude. I think of crude as looks. I love that kind of inner confidence.
More Times Melissa
5McCarthy Owned it
us laugh harder
on screen? Yup,
screen. We fan-
Bravery upon bravery, Melissa
stood apart from her perfectly
coiffed co-stars and was
hilarious while she was at it.
We love how Melissa
nailed the subtlety of
playing a fantasist and
con artist who deep down
just wants to be loved.
Even in a slightly more serious role, she still
manages to be her heartfelt and hilarious self,
while stealing scenes from Bill Murray.
things happen to ordinary girls.
And when they do, it makes
the rest of us feel like it could
happen to us too!