Melissa McCarthy: Being famous doesn’t make me ‘any more interesting or better’

July 2014 Cover

Melissa McCarthy’s Redbook cover story isn’t incredibly interesting, but I love her and I want to support her, so here you go. Honk if you love Melissa and want her to continue to thrive in Hollywood. I did feel a pang for her when she talks about how, two years ago, no major designer would agree to make a dress for her FOR THE OSCARS. How short-sighted is that for the fashion industry? Anyway, you can see the Redbook slideshow here and here are some highlights:

Why she felt the need to start a line of plus-size clothing:
“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no.”

On how she was very gothic in college:
“I wore white kabuki makeup, had blue-black hair. At one point I shaved an inch and a half around my hairline and continued the white makeup up so it made my head look slightly deformed. I thought it was hilarious. [Laughs] I was in a little town and I just got a kick out of it. I was never sullen. I was a terrible punk—I was still so chatty.”

On her oldest daughter catching on to the more glamorous aspects of her occupation:
“She asked me, ‘Are you famous?’ And I said to her, ‘Famous doesn’t mean anything. Just because people know my face doesn’t mean they know us or that it makes us any more interesting or better.’”

How her marriage to Ben Falcone stays so solid:
“We have a great marriage, and outside forces can’t really change that. Success doesn’t define us, even though we love what we do. The important thing is our family and kids. I see teenagers or people who are 21 and think, I was an idiot at that age. I was running around New York like a crazy woman. Thank God I only had three and a half cents to my name. I was too immature to handle success then.”

[From Redbok]

Melissa and her husband really are so lovely together. They seem like they’re really into each other and supportive of one another too. It’s nice to see that kind of connection in Hollywood. As for Melissa’s views on fame… that’s healthy. This is so much better than some other celebrities and how they think “being famous” makes then experts on everything.

Melissa McCarthy2

Photos courtesy of Redbook.

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79 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy: Being famous doesn’t make me ‘any more interesting or better’”

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  1. Mmhmm says:

    Oh gosh I love her, even though I’m not too wild about her comedy.

  2. Vampi says:

    I <3 this woman SO much!!

  3. SpookySpooks says:

    I love her so so much.
    Sadly, I’m not at all surprised that the designers didn’t want to dress her.

    • Locke says:

      I am! I can’t believe they were such snobs.

      • Shannon1972 says:

        Sadly, this is no surprise at all. I’ve probably worked for some of the designers that she approached, and of course they said no. It wouldn’t have given them any extra exposure that they would consider useful. She would need someone like Anna Wintour to champion her.
        The fashion industry is extremely closed off to those they consider outside their norm. Fashion = snobbery.

        On another note: I love Melissa!!! Please keep covering her. :D

      • Shannon1972 says:

        Oh man, I should caffeinate before commenting. This was sarcasm, wasn’t it? Lol. Sorry I was slow on the uptake. Please ignore my previous comment. :)

  4. lemon says:


  5. Audrey says:

    Yeah but being awesome makes her better and more interesting

  6. Hannah says:

    Why is she standing on one leg on the cover? What a weird choice for a cover image.

    • kara says:

      At least they put her entire body on the cover instead of using a close up face shot!

      • Stef Leppard says:

        Yes! Thank you! It bugs me so much when they can’t bring themselves to do a full-body shot of a plus-sized woman.

  7. redsox says:

    I love her so much and I´m so happy to see her succeed.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    Love her, and it sounds like she’s teaching her kids well.
    It’s pathetic none of the designers wanted to create a dress for her. At the time she had just won an Emmy and was an Oscar nominee for a very popular movie. Talk about high profile- the designers should’ve been competing to see who got to dress her.

    • Ms.Virago says:

      This. Wonder who she approached to design for her. There are a couple of really good designers who will do plus-sized gowns. Tadashi Shoji and Isabel Toledo would probably have done a great gown for MM.

      • Redheadwriter says:

        I remember commenting at the time that she should have used Tadashi Shoji. The designs worn by Octavia Spencer were fantastic.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree, Octavia’s dresses that season were fantastic.

      • Esti says:

        I believe she was nominated the same year Octavia was, so it might have been that Shoji didn’t want to dress two people (especially two people in the same category) for the Oscars.

      • Ms.Virago says:

        It’s possible that Shoji would have turned her down, but who knows? Lots of actresses wear the same designer on the red carpet, so long as the design is unique.

    • mia girl says:

      This is weird because don’t designers like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein both have plus-sized clothing lines at major department stores? This includes dresses/gowns, I believe.

      Why wouldn’t they want to design a plus sized couture gown for an incredibly wonderful and high profile actress? Did she not approach them? Was it Paris designers who rejected her? Strange and stupid.

      • Shannon1972 says:

        You are talking about mass market designers, and they don’t usually do Oscar caliber gowns (if they do gowns at all). I could be wrong, but I don’t think Calvin Klein or Michael Kors are designers that stylists even think of for the oscars. The last Calvin I remember at the Oscars was JLaw’s red column gown, and she absolutely killed it. But she could carry a simple gown. I think stylists probably approach the designers who do haute couture, if they aren’t strong armed into using Marchesa by Harvey Weinstein.
        FWIW, I agree it was short sighted and stupid.

      • Algernon says:


        Michael Kors is a regular on red carpets. Tina Fey has worn MK to the Oscars in the past, as has Goopy Paltrow. And of course Calvin Klein’s dress for JLaw is probably his most famous recently, but Paltrow has also worn CK to the Oscars, and Naomi Watts did just this last year. Whatever designers turned down Melissa McCarthy were being dumb because she’s beautiful regardless of her size, plus she’s funny and awesome. Someone else mentioned Tadashi Shoji, who has made beautiful dresses for Octavia Spencer in the past–why didn’t McCarthy approach him? I don’t think he has that size-ist bias. I just don’t think her style is very good in general.

      • Bridget says:

        @Shannon, Algernon is correct. Both Calvin Klein and Michael Kors have a strong red carpet presence – Naomi Watts just wore that white Calvin Klein to this year’s Oscars.

  9. Katie says:

    Perhap Goop needs to listen to Melissa.

  10. Toot says:

    She looks so much like her cousin in that cover photo, and I like how to addressed being famous to her daughter

    • Denise says:

      I was thinking the same – in fact when I saw this photo on my laptop, enlarged, all I could think was those are her cousin’s eyes. Like you, I’m not going to mention her name because she makes me ragey.

  11. GiGi says:

    I really like her in that dress! It’s gorgeous on her. And she’s so damn funny, I’m glad she’s having a career.

    • Charlotte says:

      Yes, that dress is fabulous. I love her. She was the best part of Gilmore Girls. Her and Edward Herrman

  12. Kate says:

    I can understand why the bigger fashion houses wouldn’t want to dress her. She does get dresses custom made for her by various smaller designers, but she seems to favour one particular style. Long-ish and loose sleeves, empire waisted, kind of sacky. The loose sleeves in particular seem to be a must have for her (I get it, I like to keep my arms covered up too but it is extremely limiting when it comes to gowns). That general style isn’t something the big designers really make or have any desire to put their name too, and Melissa doesn’t seem to want to try anything different. And because she basically just wears the same thing in different colours with different levels of bedazzling, she’s not on anyone’s fashion radar. Unless she majorly stepped out of her comfort zone, a big designer would be wasting their time and money dressing her because it’s not going to get them much press.

    Plus, it has to be said, custom dresses by the big fashion houses cost a fortune and take ages to make. A few extra inches of bead work for example can take days and cost thousands. Making a custom dress for a bigger woman costs more, and since these dresses already cost a small fortune not many designers are going to rush to dress Melissa when they could dress a slimmer celebrity who’s just as famous. If Melissa becomes an even bigger star or is willing to take some risks with her fashion, she’ll have more options, but at the moment she’s just not a good investment for a designer.

    Gabourey Sidibe on the other hand wears all sorts of different and fun things, and she gets a lot of press for her fashion, thus she get’s lots of interesting dresses offered to her. I mean, she’s not famous enough for the biggies like Tom Ford and Chanel, but she’s worked her way through a lot of the mid-level designers while Melissa, who is a bigger name, really only wears a handful of designers with no name recognition. The difference is Gabourey takes risks and is open to wearing dresses that weren’t designed with plus size women in mind.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I hadn’t thought about how she wears, essentially the same thing, might not appeal to designers…

    • lucy2 says:

      But she might be willing to try something different if a good designer came up with something for her to try. They didn’t really give her the chance.
      I do get the cost aspect though, a lot of time and resources go into those.

    • Shannon1972 says:

      I agree few people pay any attention to her style of dress, which is most likely a big reason the couture designers said no. There wouldn’t be much to work with, considering her style and comfort zone. I hadn’t even considered that… I never noticed.

      Plus, she isn’t close to sample size, so existing gowns can’t be altered for her to borrow. As you said, she would need something custom, and considering how crazy Oscar time is for the major houses, this would be difficult within the time frame they were working with. There was also some snobbery involved, let’s not kid ourselves. But you raised some really excellent points.

    • aenflex says:

      Very intelligent explanation, at least for me it was.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks for this explanation.

      I’m probably going to piss some people off, but Melissa’s accusations kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I’m sure fashion designers weren’t lining up to dress her, for all the reasons Kate just laid out. But Melissa’s perpetuating a very specific narrative — that designers don’t like fat people, which isn’t exactly the truth. And since she won’t name any designers, she’s painting with a pretty broad brush.

  13. Kiddo says:

    I love the last photo.

  14. Skyblue says:


  15. elo says:

    Why isn’t anyone asking her about feminism? I bet she has an amazing answer.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I’m pretty convinced that the reporters only ask the younger, and more…naive?, celebrities because they know they’ll get a stupid/controversial response and all the attention that comes with it.

      • whatsmyname? says:

        I agree with Lucy, that’s pretty much why. It’s a shame really.

      • Denise says:

        Exactly. The journalists wouldn’t want to facilitate the enlightening of young women, now would they? Shame indeed.

  16. Hammers&Tongs says:

    I think she’s great.

    I remember seeing her in “Go” years ago and thinking how funny she was even though she was only on screen for a few minutes (also my first exposure to Timothy Olyphant…mmmm). Then Sookie in the most awesomest show ever.

    I really hope she continues with a great career in the biz as I think she really deserves it. It’s rare to find people with real screen presence these days.

    • Samtha says:

      She was in Go?? I’ve watched that movie tons of times (well, I did when I was younger) and never realized. I’ll have to bust out the old DVD. :)

  17. Kate2 says:

    Yup, honk. I love her in everything she does, except for that awful TV show. Hopefully it’s not on anymore, I don’t know. Sometimes I wish she’d get away from the “fat lady go boom” brand of humor, but overall she’s great. Loved her in The Heat.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I agree about Fat Lady humour. But I think film & TV execs are afraid to explore that fat women…might actually be human beings. (Gasp! NO!!!) So they use ‘fat’ jokes as a crutch. *yawn*

  18. antisocial says:

    LOVE HER, Want to clone her!!!! She’s perfectly imperfect and so very human (how gauche!).

    HONK times a million!

    Please CB cover her more often, one less Trashian post for one more powerful woman post (I’ll take melissa, Tina fey, Octavia Spencer, Amy pohler, maya Rudolph, Regina King) – you get the idea.

    People like Melissa help to restore my faith in humanity – which is a big reason I read gossip sites in addition to real news, to get away from the violence and depression inherent to their headlines.

    MORE MELISSA!!!!!!!!

  19. BleedingHeartLibra says:

    Definitely a fun, talented woman who doesn’t take life or herself too seriously. She knows what is important and what isn’t. Wish we had more people like Melissa in the spotlight.

  20. lemonslicemoon says:

    Antisocial, what you said +1000000.Sookie 4 eva!Love Melissa.

  21. Samtha says:

    Love her, and that’s a really cute, fun cover.

  22. Ollyholly says:

    I’ve never found her that funny, most of her films (other than Bridesmaids, which wasn’t good because of her) haven’t been that impressive, and her TV show is really lame…

    I don’t really get the obsession some people have with her.

    • Shannon1972 says:

      Perhaps the same reason people adore Sandra Bullock? She’s someone many would like to be friends with.

      • Nicolette says:

        Exactly. Love a celeb that gets the fact that they are no better than the rest of us, and is humble enough to say so. Melissa and Sandra both project that feeling, and I could easily see spending time with either.

    • Samtha says:

      For me, it’s Gilmore Girls. I will always love her for playing Sookie.

      She’s a talented actress and quite funny when given the right material. I hated both Bridesmaids and the movie she did with Jason Bateman, but I hold out hope she’ll find a project worthy of her.

  23. videli says:

    I love her and she makes me laugh despite the often poor and stereotypical material with which she has to work. I’m looking forward to Heat2.

  24. TheOriginalKitten says:

    She’s great. Oh, and f*ck those designers.

  25. nicegirl says:

    Honk Honk Honk, Go Melissa, as uninteresting and not better as the rest of us!

  26. manda says:

    I REALLY love that dress!

  27. Patty Cake says:

    I love her and love her more now. It’s very believable to me that stylist wouldn’t make a dress for her. There are people out there in life that will find anything they can to discriminate against you about. If you don’t fit their little cookie cutter mold of how they think a is acceptable, they will not serve you as they would serve everyone else. I’ve been heavy for 5 years now and have been trying to get the weight off. It’s just simply frustrating to go into malls and not have as many option for clothes as smaller folks would. If her line is affordable and looks nice, I will wear the hell out of whatever she makes. There’s this common misconception out there that big people don’t want to do what it takes to be small. I am proof that that is not true. Thanks Melissa!

  28. Pants says:


  29. Simi says:

    I really want to know which fashion designers said no, I wish she would’ve named and shamed them but she’s classy.

    Who do we think it could’ve been? Chanel, Valentino, Prada, Eli Saab?

  30. Bravocueen says:

    I adore her. Her comedic timing is amazing and I think she’s just beautiful. Her take on life and fame is so healthy. More Melissa less Jenny.

  31. Darbi says:

    Shut. Up. That last picture is to cute.

  32. bettyrose says:

    Why didn’t she get asked about feminism? Why can’t I get to hear what a grown woman who’s faced actual adversity has to say on the subject rather than pampered starlets?

  33. argirl says:

    Love her!

  34. Alexa says:

    HONK – HONK! I’m CRAZY IN LOVE with her too!

  35. ella says:

    She would be gorgeous if she lost weight. She has a very pretty face. I’m overweight myself and struggling to lose weight, but at least I’m able to go beyond politically correct and say the obvious: fat is not good looking or attractive. We fat people never look good, no matter what we wear. I hate shopping for clothes and I hate to look at myself in the mirror. Nothing looks good on me, only some clothes look less bad than others. Skinny jeans and close fitted clothes look awful on fat people. Bottom line: I understand that some designers refused to dress her. She has a very pretty face but her body just doesn’t look good, no matter how she dresses. .

    • GeeMoney says:

      Just b/c you think you’re fat and that clothes don’t look good on you doesn’t mean that other people who may be overweight feel the same way.

      I’m really trying my best not to be flat out mean here – but you should see a shrink. And learn to love yourself and not put down other people.

    • Shan1983 says:

      I kindly direct you to Renaissance art…basically any kind if art before the 20th century. Woman were depicted as very, very “voluptuous” – obese by today’s standards – because not long ago those who were heavier were seen as healthy and wealthy (as in wealthy enough to eat). To my knowledge, it is relatively recent that heavy women have been seen as unattractive. A woman the size of supermodels would be viewed as sickly, likely unable to reproduce, and too poor to eat properly. Through most of history, heavy women were seen as beautiful and highly desirable. I am truly sorry you believe “fat” women to not be attractive since for much of history they have been truly revered.

  36. joan says:

    I love her and Heat made me laugh out loud all alone. Cackling like a madwoman.

    She’s in the Fey / Poehler / Bullock range for me — they’re all likeable and funny and bright and have their heads screwed on. And they know what feminism is.

    The photos look photoshopped to me because she looks so thin — I wonder. But she’s great-looking and very pretty.

  37. DJ says:

    One of the funniest women out there right now. Her comic timing and physical schtick are phenomenal. Can hardly wait for her new movie.