How ‘The Starling’ star Melissa McCarthy learned to play such a real character: Heidi Grant

On “SNL” and in movies, Melfi snagged a paycheck for playing a character that is unrecognizable. It took us years, but we finally locked Melfi down for “The Starling.” While her character is a sleuth, …

On “SNL” and in movies, Melfi snagged a paycheck for playing a character that is unrecognizable.

It took us years, but we finally locked Melfi down for “The Starling.” While her character is a sleuth, she never uses her own name in the script. We were familiar with her work from “Ben Is Back,” the true story about a family whose son is diagnosed with drug addiction, and she got to choose who would be her closest confidant. I should start by saying that I’m a rabid fan of her work. If you don’t know her work, maybe you should. She knows how to play a character without makeup, never leaving the house, and within 12 minutes she will make you feel like you’ve known her for decades.

Ava DuVernay: Do you think Melissa McCarthy can do phone calls? Can she improv?

MS: If I could say anything on film that it is impossible, my husband’s career, it is impossible to use phones. It’s almost impossible. That is the same in live television. The only thing that will make a phone call work is if the person you’re talking to is that honest and honest about the absolute worst thing that happened to them. I have no idea what she would do.

U and Y: Melissa, when you were growing up, you would watch your sisters get waxed on a weekly basis. Do you believe in the beauty of waxing?

MS: You should do it. I am not very hot on waxing the way my older sister did it. My mother loved it. My father was against it. He wanted me to do it. He said, “I think you should do it. It’s better for your hair.” And I think he was right. You put your hair up in that bun and you sleep better, and they came in and they cut it at a length of time. My father is also very Southern. He thinks it is very uncool. I don’t like waxing. But I am pro-waxing. You should do it.

U and Y: How do you feel about the remake of “The Little Mermaid”?

MS: I love the original. I think it was amazing. So why remake it? It’s the perfect movie to remake. If you remake any classic movie, you remake it like that. It should be bigger. It should be better. It shouldn’t be the same. I think that’s a good thing. You want to re-do it, do something completely different, because it doesn’t hold up. So the fact that it is always the same is OK. It doesn’t hold up. It has a problem.

U and Y: If you were as grossed out by “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” as I was, do you think would be a funny version of it?

MS: I think it is funny because it makes fun of that. They come to visit my family and they are all grossed out. They come to make fun of the whole situation, which is sweet. It is a strong, smart film. I think it is going to be successful. And I think it is perfectly funny. And not just because there is a gross-out moment.

U and Y: What is your take on body shaming?

MS: Honestly, I have had plenty of moments. And that is one of the worst things you can do to another human being. That is one of the worst things you can say to a human being, especially when it is a horrible thing to say. Body shaming is absolutely heinous. It should not be happening. It should never happen. It is a terrible thing. But that does not diminish that it happened.

U and Y: Do you have something to say to anyone who is currently dealing with body shaming?

MS: That is so difficult. I am fighting back. I will go public. It is all a fight against body shaming. The women who are fighting that, I am so happy for them. You are in for a big fight. Like Ariana Grande. You are in for a fight. You are fighting this. It will be like a class. You will go into this room. You will find you are going through what her mother went through for her. All you will say is, “I’m never doing that again.” It is what is known as body shaming. It is so unfair. I feel bad about it. It should not be happening to anyone. I am a perfect example of how beauty is a gift from God. I feel bad about the fact that my insecurities come out in the way that they do, because I’m so beautiful.

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