Melissa McCarthy covers Rolling Stone, talks about her drag queen/goth past


I am SHOCKED by this Rolling Stone cover. You mean major magazines can put a “big” woman on their cover and they don’t have to just use a head shot? You mean magazines can actually show a woman’s figure when she’s not a size 2? Well, I never!! Anyway, Melissa McCarthy covers the new issue of Rolling Stone to promote her summer movie, Tammy. I love that Melissa is such a baller now, that she’s a legit film comedienne and leading lady. She’s awesome. You can read RS’s excerpts here, and here are some highlights:

She started as a drag queen named Miss Y: When McCarthy moved to New York at age 20, her roommate, Brian Atwood, a friend from home who would go on to become a popular shoe designer, suggested she try stand-up. “I really dressed to rival a drag queen, for sure,” she recalls. “I had a gold lamé swing coat on, a huge wig, big eyelashes. I talked about being incredibly wealthy and beautiful and living extravagantly.”

She got cast in Bridesmaids despite slipping into one of her “fugue states” during the audition — and rambling about dolphin sex: Improvising with Kristen Wiig in front of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, McCarthy blacked out and began rambling about inter-species dolphin sex. “There’s not one thing you could have done to seem any stranger,” she said to herself in the car home. “Sex with a dolphin? Handplay with a dolphin! You just could not have been any weirder.” A year or so later, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the film.

She was a bit of an angsty teenage goth: Early in high school, McCarthy was a preppy jock: a cheerleader and a student-council member. But when puberty hit, she dyed her hair blue-black, wore weirdo fishnets on her arms and snuck out to Chicago, where she’d frequent a club called Medusa’s and dance on scaffolding. “I turned slightly nuts,” she admits of the years she drank wine coolers and cheap beer — and did a little shoplifting. “We’d wrap sweaters around ourselves and walk out.” (She also owns up to stealing a Chunky when she was five.)

She’s actually quite happy now. Less the tortured comic genius of cliché than a married-with-kids success story, McCarthy seems almost content. When Hedegaard asks what she might be running from, the star can’t come up with an answer, offering only, “I don’t know.” Her self-destructive habits? “I could eat healthier, I could drink less,” she says. “I should be learning another language and working out more, but I’m just always saying, ‘Ah, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.’”

[From Rolling Stone]

I tend to think a lot of female comics have similar all-over-the-place resumes and early starts, although Melissa’s sounds more extreme than most. I love that she was a teenage goth though. I wish more famous, successful people would own up to being goth in high school. ONE OF US ONE OF US.

Here’s the trailer for Melissa’s summer movie, Tammy:


Cover courtesy of Rolling Stone, additional pic by WENN.

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69 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy covers Rolling Stone, talks about her drag queen/goth past”

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  1. Neelyo says:

    I used to go to Medusa’s in the 80s. It’s where all the goth/alternative/angsty teens hung out.

  2. Abbott says:

    Isn’t she not so much a comic as an actress who is great at comedy? I’d hate to see her pigeon-holed when she’s so talented.

  3. Hanna says:

    Melissa is awesome. I love her.

  4. It is what it is says:

    Love her, love the cover

  5. elo says:

    That cover is hot! She is amazingly awesome in every way! I want to hear her opinions on feminism.

  6. Amy Tennant says:

    Recovering teenage goth here! I’m 41 now and still wear a lot of black, but I don’t powder my skin with baby powder anymore to look paler…

    • GiGi says:

      Me, too! Black raccoon eyes – white powder, dog collar chokers, combat boots, shredded jeans over my black/white striped tights… the works!

      And I still almost only wear black as a 35 year old professional adult, lol!

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        I’m averse to the term “goth,” but I enjoyed wearing black, sporting ripped up fishnets, metal t’s, collars and cuffs and docs. Also had quite a few piercings (neck, lip, tounge, naval etc) and my ears gauged. My ears are still gauged, which my hair hides nicely. We must present ourselves professionally, but I still get to wear black everyday!

      • GiGi says:

        Yeah – I don’t even know if goth was an actual term people used when I was growing up. I know I never thought of myself that way, lol!

        It’s a funny thing, because now my daughter is 11… I started dressing that way at maybe 12/13… and I’m kind of nervous/excited to see how her personal style develops. Thank god I had amazing parents who were totally ok with my half shaved head! I hope to be half as awesome as they were.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @gigi, goth definitely wasn’t a term when we grew up (I’m 34). Those progressive gauges weren’t around either. I used to have to buy the q-tips with the plastic middles and stuff them through my ears to stretch them to size. At graduation I had a blue Mohawk and was voted “class nonconformist” senior year. I got along with everyone though. There weren’t groups of kids who dress that way, like there are now. So I hung out with everybody. Dated football players, wrestlers and guys in punk bands (which were the most fun to be around). Do you have any tattoos?

        I’d be fine with my kids being unique, whatever that may be. I’d only be disappointed if they wore their pants under their butts and acted like little biebers.

      • GiGi says:

        Little Biebers – I’m dying, lol!

        I have a couple of tattoos.. not too many… some scars which I thought were so cool and now I kind of wish weren’t so visible. I never gauged, but do have/had many, many piercings some of which I totally forget about until one of my kids is like, “I can see eight holes up your ear”. Ha!

        In my job now, I work directly with clients, so I have to look presentable, but since I’m a designer, it’s almost an expectation that I’m going to be wearing black, lol!

        It was the same for me in HS. I grew up in a pretty rural school with a small class. It was actually great, though, because everyone just hung out with everyone else. There weren’t these great divides between groups that I hear about now. We were all just cool with each other.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @gigi, what kind of design? Fashion or interior?

      • GiGi says:

        I am a graphic designer, actually. I work with my husband, who’s a builder/contractor and do new home/remodel design & layout. I really enjoy that. I also have a little side print making business where I get to do just what I like (not what a client wants).

        Plus, sitting at the computer affords me lots of stop ins with my Celebitches ;)

      • -lifts hand- Me too and same age group. I attended high school in a super rural area after being raised in the big city so….yeah my collars, piercings, mohawks, bihawks, chelsea cuts and multi coloured hair did not go over well around town. It disturbed them that I looked like a ‘gas huffer’ but was on honour roll. At 34 though I’m actually getting into heavier tattooing than I had as a teen and recently started gauging my ears because they close up way too fast for regular earrings. I removed a lot of piercings for professional reasons ages ago but I kept my nose stud because it was the first I got at the ripe age of 13 and its sentimental now. And I just got told I wear too much black all the time at work. It made me smile.

      • LilyT says:

        @GIGI Nice! You sound like a badass. And I mean that genuinely :)

      • GiGi says:

        @LilyT – lol! Thanks – but I’m just a regular lady – I think we’re all badasses around here ;)

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @gigi, awesome! Sounds like you and your husband make a great team!

        @tentacle, I still have my tongue ring too, although I take it out when I meet with families and direct funerals. I’m sure people think I’m getting too old for it, but I’ve had it since 16 (over half of my life)!

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Goth was a term back in my day, and I’m 41. Maybe it went in and out of speech.

  7. LAK says:

    I’m shocked at a rolling stone cover that isn’t a suggestive.

  8. Kiddo says:

    She’s an incredibly likeable actress.

  9. GiGi says:

    She’s just really fantastic. Great sense of humor, great sense of self and she really seems to be enjoying life. We need more like her!

  10. Kate2 says:

    I was never goth but I hung with some who were. I was definitely the preppy jock.

  11. allons-y alonso says:

    Love her. She will always be Sookie from Gilmore Girls to me. :)

  12. Fatty Cakes says:

    This is one of only two magazine photos (not sure if the other one was a cover) I’ve ever seen of her that actually looks hot. Bless Rolling Stone for this, because apparently the “fashion” photographers don’t know what to do with her. They need to just back the eff up and let Melissa be great.

  13. megs283 says:

    I LOVE that she looks stunning on the cover. I saw the preview for Tammy on TV the other night and rolled my eyes – why is this another “let’s ugly up Melissa McCarthy” movie?! So this redeems that somewhat.

  14. Becki says:

    Those shoes in the Blended pic! She looks awesome on the cover too!! Love it, she seems so fun & hilarious :)

  15. Tokumama says:

    Beyond brilliant and beautiful! Love everything about her and celebrating the editors genius and equally bold cover story & full body shot cover choice! BRAVO!!!!

  16. feebee says:

    Ha ha ha, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, ha ha…. that’s my excuse too!!

    Love this lady… but couldn’t help thinking when I saw the trailer for “Tammy” that it was yet another role where she’s off beat, unkempt (?), bit loony, be it very funny. Don’t get me wrong, love the success she’s having, I’m definitely seeing her movie but it just seems like this is the only way Hollywood can deal with her.

  17. Mayamae says:

    I’m glad she’s getting roles, but why do they have to ugly her up? It looks like her husband is in it too – their scenes together in Bridesmaids are among my favorites.

  18. bella says:

    she’s fabulous…crazy funny and incredibly honest about
    where she’s come from and where she is.
    i think she’s lovely, too, and looks healthier than dueinf her role in bridesmaids,
    which is hands down one of the funniest movies i’ve ever seen.
    i hadn’t belly laughed for years before seeing that movie!
    i think women are beautiful no matter the size, but i see melissa
    looking so incredible here, that i can’t help but want her to keep at it…
    she glows…

  19. break says:

    It’s great to see a full-figured woman who isn’t “all breasts” in every outfit or photo. It often seems like the media and Hollywood are only willing to accept a larger woman as beautiful, if she is constantly sexualized via her breasts.

  20. Ollyholly says:

    This movie looks horrible…

    • Jamie says:

      Right? I don’t see the hype over a lot of her roles. She seems like an awesome person and a great role model for being different than the norm. But so much of her work just seems crass and unfunny.

      • Ollyholly says:

        Yeah, it’s weird, because I like her as a person, but I find a lot of her films just awful! Like, if anyone else were making this film it would have been slammed as the absolute worst thing ever. But with her, it’s like people give her a pass.

        I wonder if it’s just these are the only type of roles she gets offered? How is that possible?

    • TQB says:

      I agree – except, it’s Melissa McCarthy. At this point, her presence in a film is enough to make me give it a chance even if the trailer and premise seem awful.

  21. Nicolette says:

    Love her, there is no pretentiousness about her she just comes off as real. And so happy Kathy Bates is in this, I love it when she does comedy. In The Waterboy she had some of the best and funniest scenes.

  22. I Choose Me says:

    Huh. I can’t believe I’m typing this but kudos to Rolling Stone. I don’t much like Melissa’s stereotypical comedic roles but I love her and I want her to do well. She looks fantastic on that cover.

  23. sea dragon says:

    Two words: badass bitch! :D

  24. Hannah says:

    Go Rolling Stone! Well done!

  25. lucy2 says:

    Melissa and her husband wrote this screenplay, her husband directed, and they are both producers on it. As much as I’d like to see her venture away from this type of role soon, it’s great that they are creating projects.
    Love that she got a RS cover, and I like the photo.

  26. BleedingHeartLibra says:

    Yeah I will always dress true to my nature. I wear mostly black with little pops of collar. Edgy but not too edgy as to be unprofessional. And I still only wear silver jewelry. The look of gold has never done it for me.

    • Happyhat says:

      I wear mostly navy. Like, somehow, I thought I was wearing too much black from my former mild-goth days. So, I did the next step up which is always navy. And dark grey.

      But I too only ever wear silver jewelry! Some things never change!

  27. Really says:

    I love that cover- it’s perfection.

    I was more a wannabe grunge who couldn’t commit to dirty clothes but did shop at thrift stores. That lasted a couple years before I worked at American Eagle and became cool.

  28. Camellia says:

    I love her, but I am extremely over her playing obnoxious/boorish characters. The commercials for her new movie make me cringe.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I like her too,but she’s allowing herself to be pigeonholed. She’s playing the same character over and over again. She should do a serious role in an indie.

      • Tig says:

        Yes, a pretty consistent opinion in this post, and I agree with it. You almost feel disloyal saying it, but she has done this same role over and over. Now it could be that’s how they got financing- relying on her playing the character that folks have paid to see in the past- but I would love to see her play Lady McBeth. And I am not joking.

  29. Jess says:

    I love her and have loved her ever since she played Sookie on Gilmore Girls. I can’t wait to see Tammy and I’m buying this magazine because of her.

  30. Lucy says:

    The cover is SPECTACULAR. The interview’s pretty great, too!!!

  31. Snowflake says:

    I want to see that movie! Looks funny

  32. Lindy says:

    I really love her. Funny as hell, articulate, honest, thoughtful. She looks fantastic on that cover!

  33. Bravocueen says:

    This movie looks HILARIOUS! #cantwait!!!

  34. joan says:

    It’s fun that she’s such a physical actor — she must be in really good shape despite her size because the way she moves.

    Heat was really funny.

  35. rep says:

    I just don’the think this movie is funny.

  36. Meg says:

    Let me preface this by saying that my weight has yo-yo’d throughout my 20′s so I have lots of empathy for women who are at an unhealthy size, as I currently am myself.
    I think the feminist message of not judging or defining women by their sizes is being confused here by an obese woman choosing to be unhealthy.
    mocking mindy kaling or lena dunham for their sizes is sexist because those women aren’t at unhealthy weights for their heights-they just aren’t supermodels and sexist people don’t want to acknowledge women who aren’t supermodels as an excuse so they don’t have to deal with their minds, voices, or intangible talent.
    But melissa mccarthy is at an unhealthy weight for her height-she has kids and instead of considering her future health and being there for her kids she’s sticking with ‘screw hollywood stereotypes, i’m going to keep my carpe diem motto going and eat more food.’
    Health and looks are two different things-I’m at the point now where I’m losing weight so I get healthier because I don’t want to cut my life short or complicate it with diabetes, etc. I was too at the point of ‘I’m a woman, why am I judged by my looks alone? screw that.’ But I see now that can be hurting myself since I’m at an unhealthy weight for my height. I’m thinking of health here-not looks.

  37. Kat says:

    She was wonderful on Gilmore Girls, and I’m thrilled for her success. I just wish she’d stop doing these -for lack of a better term, and I hate it – “fatty fall-down” roles. I get that she wants to get in there and make the big bucks, but her talent is so much greater than the kinda schlock she’s doing lately.