Melissa McCarthy on anti-maskers: ‘I didn’t think people hated each other that much’


Melissa McCarthy is on the cover of In Style to promote Thunder Force which is out on April 9th on Netflix. She and Octavia Spencer star as superheroes. It looks silly and very much like something these two couldn’t wait to make together. I didn’t realize that about nine months ago, Melissa and her family left for Australia. Melissa, her husband Ben Falcone, and their two girls were quarantining in LA at the start of the pandemic. Melissa’s mom, who was stuck in LA, was with them. After several months, Melissa got a call to film Nine Perfect Strangers with Nicole Kidman, Michael Shannon, Regina King and Bobby Carnavale, whom I just expect to see in all Melissa’s projects now. But it was being filmed in Australia so Melissa didn’t think they could do it. However, with lockdown fatigue affecting her daughters and Australia emerging victoriously from their managing of the virus, the family decided to go. Unfortunately, the move gave Melissa an outsiders view of America as she saw all the reports of cops murdering Black people and anti-maskers defying logic and science.

On early quarantine
My mom had come out for the winter and stayed with us, which was incredible. My dad had gone home a little early, so she got stuck. She stayed five months, which was amazing. I haven’t lived with my mom every day since I was 18 years old. To have that time with her again was unbelievable.

But I think we were all just upside down. It was the panic of “What do you have to wash?” We had washing stations in our garage, and we would leave things there. We were in hazmat suits. I just remember scrubbing the outside of grapefruits with soap and water and then [dipping them] into a vinegar bath. We didn’t know what was safe enough. The amount of scrubbing and cleaning was crazy. Ben was like, “Are you Cloroxing the outsides of the apple? Should we be eating it?” It was just nuts.

On what’s happening in the US
It’s been going from complete isolation, fear of being sick, to fear of your own country turning on itself. I know COVID-19 is the virus, but the real virus is the violence and the hatred. If anything’s going to extinguish us as a species, it’s that.

If somebody said, “All you have to do is wear this head-wrap and you can cure cancer,” people would be like, “Oh my god, that’s amazing. We would do anything for that.” And we’re saying, “There’s up to an 80 percent chance for this disease to decrease if you just wear this little 3-by-5-inch piece of fabric until we figure it out.” Somehow that’s become an infringement on someone’s rights.

I think the scariest thing about all of this more so than even COVID is that I truly didn’t think people hated each other that much or hated the idea of people who they don’t even know. I always wonder, “Do racists know anyone of a different color?” People who are homophobic: “Do you know anyone gay or bi or trans? Do you know these people, or is it the great unknown?” I think the next 10 years of our lives have to be spent figuring out why people are so angry and also checking on mental illness. I mean, because the whole QAnon thing, that pizzas are eating babies and then they’re going to Mars and coming back. It might as well be that.

[From InStyle]

I’m ashamed to admit this but I was also shocked when I became aware of how much hate there is in this country. I realize it is my privilege that allowed me to believe we’d progressed as a society and that I had not been listening. But the past four years under Trump has open my eyes and ears in a way that will forever change how I see us. I am sorry and am horrified it took me so long. As for anti-maskers, I like Melissa’s cancer/head wrap analogy. We were given a simple solution that would prevent deaths and for some reason, people felt the need to politicize it. It became an issue, something to take a vehement stance on. But what’s at stake is death. As Melissa said, that’s how much people hate each other. They are willing to gamble with death in order to stick it to someone with whom they disagree. So it shouldn’t surprise me or Melissa that they’re fine with innocent people being murdered or having their rights suppressed due to their skin color or sexuality. Because to some people, their hatred is the most important thing in their lives. More important than their health or the health of those around them.

You can watch the trailer for Thunder Force here. It’s a nice antidote to the horribleness that Melissa is referring to above. We might not get her back. She is loving her life in Byron Bay. She is especially happy with how “chatty” the Australians are because she, too, loves to chat. She said that the Midwesterner in her and it’s something she misses in LA, where no one talks to anyone else (she’s right). After Strangers, Melissa is filming God’s Favourite Idiot, which is a series Ben ended up writing for Netflix while staying with Melissa in Byron Bay. Know what else is filming in that area? Thor: Love and Thunder, featuring Melissa’s Ghostbuster’s co-star, Chris Hemsworth. So guess who Chris charmed into another Matt Damon-like cameo? Melissa! I don’t want to lose Melissa and Ben to Oz, but it would be a fun crew down there if we did.



Photo credit: Charlie Denno/In Style, Instagram and Avalon

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

40 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy on anti-maskers: ‘I didn’t think people hated each other that much’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Darla says:

    I love her so much. Good for her for getting out of here. I would do the same in her position. I am going to watch this!

  2. Oatmeal says:

    You know I used to have this knack back in the day

    There are certain songs or performances that I would hear on the radio or see on tvnand movies ….and I would immediately know that a particular person was gonna blow up one day and be a star

    I’ll never forget she had a small bit part in the movie Go. A small blink and you miss it part but she was hilarious and I remmeber thinking “I don’t know who she is, but she has IT and she is gonna be a star ”

    Next thing you know she is on Gilmore Girl

    10 years later she is a bona fide tv and film star

    And now I’m also glad to learn that on top of being talented and funny, she is decent person too, so she is a star all around

    • D says:

      She was in GO???? What scene? I have no memory of this.

      She looks amazing in those pictures and I love her.

    • Whistledown says:

      Yes to her performance in Go! My best friend and I used to rewind that scene over and over and die until we couldn’t breathe. I just rewatched it recently and screamed “oh my god the roommate is Melissa McCarthy!!”

    • Testington says:

      She is good friends with the writer director of Go!. Check out his other movie called The Nines, Melissa, Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis star. There are three different stories and the three of them play a different character in each story.

  3. HufflepuffLizLemon says:

    She’s so adorable! Love her.

  4. Esmom says:

    She’s not wrong. I was just thinking about how I used to think that this conservative guy I knew from high school was an isolated crank. I would just laugh at every grievance he would post about, it just seemed so ridiculous. But the Trump era made me realize just how many people are hateful, bitter and angry. I blame Fox News and other right wing outlets, as you follow the common threads in their ranty nonsense, this is clearly where they get their talking points. It’s profoundly depressing.

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here. I knew it was out there, but didn’t realize just how widespread, and how willing people were to throw their lives away in service of hatred. It’s awful.

    • Christin says:

      Though it has disheartened and frustrated me at times, the last 4 years and especially the past year, have revealed the true selves of many people I know.

      Masks are sort of a metaphor, because people seem more apt to openly show selfishness and hatefulness that some kept mostly hidden.

    • olliesmom says:

      They really all have come crawling out of the woodwork.

    • geekish1 says:

      I disagree–if it was determined that everyone wearing headwraps would cure cancer, there would STILL be 30% of the population saying that it was just government mind control to make us into mindless sheep, WITH the added fillip of racism–”Black people wear headwraps, so the government is trying turn us all into black people.”

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I love Melissa and she’s right the US is a disaster but Byron Bay is a good example of how Europeans decimated or drove out the indigenous population to steal land and resources. Australia has a giant racism problem with its ongoing treatment of the indigenous people and that should be at least acknowledged. It is grotesque to see Australia presented as a utopia for white people.

    • Mee yo says:

      @ELIZABETH yes I was thinking, ‘wait till she learns about the history of Australia and its treatment of the Aborigines’. US is a sh*t show but Australia was built on the decimation of the indigenous peoples. And they struggle to acknowledge it.

  6. Megan says:

    I’m obsessed with that dress she’s wearing on the cover. She looks great!

  7. Ariel says:

    It’s true that some people would rather screw over/harm someone else than help themselves.
    Isn’t that why poor white bigots vote Republican? They vote against their own financial interests.
    Of course Fox News lies to them too. My trump supporting old white man boyfriend inherited a tiny house from his mom and was deeply concerned about the estate tax – which Fox News taught him would take his meager money.
    I told him he did not get enough to qualify, but he consulted an attorney anyway,

  8. Robin says:

    I was ashamed I didn’t know the other side of my own UK thinking. I assumed most people wanted to stay healthy and safe and would wear masks willingly. It wasn’t until I started reading this site that I redirected to the Daily Mail. I didn’t know it was so popular in the US and I’d never read it before. I go straight to the Mail BTLs on most stuff, and it’s been an education in conspiracy theories and vaccine ignorance.

  9. Case says:

    I agree, and I think the hardest part of quarantine has been seeing people, acquaintances and coworkers, who just don’t care. They don’t care about my life, or my family’s lives, only themselves. I’ll never forget the people who refused to wear a mask somewhere or spent their weekends partying with groups of people while I sat alone waiting for this to be over.

  10. ab says:

    I didn’t know Nine Perfect Strangers was being made into a tv show, but I guess every hot new book goes to film now. I kind of hated it and stopped reading halfway through (googled the ending instead of finishing). The cast is fantastic though, so I will probably end up watching.

    • lucy2 says:

      I didn’t like the book either, but I too will watch because of the cast.
      Looking forward to Thunder Force too, I love Melissa and Octavia, and could use some silliness.

    • BeanieBean says:

      ‘Googled the ending’? Gotta say, this confuses me. You had your hands on the book, were reading it and…instead of flipping to the back of the book you googled the ending? This confuses me! ;-)

      • ab says:

        lol I was listening to the audiobook! I knew there was a twist but I was so bored with the story so I went googling for spoilers and moved on. 😂

  11. AmyB says:

    Her comments are spot on for me. I absolutely loathe Donald Trump, and am so grateful beyond words he is out of the White House. That being said, he literally allowed and made people comfortable being complete selfish assholes, racists, etc., in broad daylight. And this mask wearing issue is the perfect example of that. These people would rather scream about their own “personal freedom” and die on that hill, than put a damn piece of cloth on to prevent the spread of this disease to others. Completely fucking selfish and narcissistic. And yet, they want to talk about making “American Great Again” – I just laugh my ass off at the hypocrisy of it all. These idiots convened on Jan. 6th and tried to overtake the Capital building with force because they thought Trump really “won” the election LMAO!! It is all just so pathetic to me!!!

  12. AnnaKist says:

    This reminded me of when I was in the supermarket a few weeks ago. There were situations where masks were mandatory, such as public transport, or where physical distancing wasn’t possible.
    A mum, wearing a mask, as we were. Her son, maybe 19 or 20, following her around. His mask is on his fingers, and he’s twirling it around. He says, loudly, “I’m not putting a mask on. They can’t make me. And they can’t take away my human rights and force me to put it on. I know the law!”
    His mother gives him a withering look and replies, “It’s gronks like you that refuse to think of others, who spread the bloody virus. Now, put the f&$#+ng mask on and shut your f#)$@ng gob.” And he did. Go, mum!

    • Emm says:

      Ahhhh! That’s amazing! Go mom!
      I just wish more moms were like that. I haven’t been out in a crowded space in a year and I had to take my son to the orthodontist, like it had to be done or else things were going to get really bad in his mouth. I doubled masked and was sitting there in the waiting room with these people, one kid comes out from the back literally maskless, without even one in his hand, I saw zero mask with this kid. One mom came in with her son who has pulled his raggedy mask under his nose and then starts complaining about having to get his temp taken everywhere and how he hates it, all while mom and the receptionist are giggling. The kid was probably my 12-13, how effing hard is it for someone to point something at your head for two second to get your temp? It’s not hard, it’s just something to bitch about and I’m sure he got that idea from home. Then when we were leaving I saw another mother and son with masks clear under their noses. I was so freaked out after that visit I told them I want all appt times first thing am so I don’t have to deal with so many a$$holes not giving a crap about anyone but themselves. It was exhausting and just so upsetting that we are still here at this point of people not giving a shit after all of the death and destruction.

  13. Boo says:

    I’ve really struggled with anti-maskers. I slammed a hotel stairwell door in the face of an unmasked man who tried to follow my family into a stairwell. I yelled at an ice cream parlor owner as I left his shop without ice cream that we were leaving because he was unmasked. And on and on. I can’t wait until this is over. I never want to leave the house.

  14. Lillian says:

    I work at a hotel and I have to continue to tell the same guests they need to wear masks. It’s so frustrating

  15. Seraphina says:

    I WAS friends with a woman up until this pandemic and recent election took place. I don’t understand what the hell is so difficult about wearing a mask. I there are days I don’t care for wearing it either, but I do for the greater good. Just like people wear pants and shirts and shoes.

  16. FYI says:

    ” … for some reason, people felt the need to politicize it.”

    The reason was Donald Trump. If he had told the public that patriots all wear masks, then those conspiracy goofballs would’ve put on three or four.

  17. Other Renee says:

    If the idiot booted from the White House had told people to mask up, to believe the science, millions more would have done so. It became a political issue. How stupid is that? People can’t think for themselves? The total lack of compassion for others is what sent me into a great sadness this year. More than anything else.

    I never thought I would be “that person” but I screamed at a maskless person in Trader Joe’s. He was about 70 and boldly asking an employee to help him find something. I heard a group of employees whispering, “He’s back.” I complained to another employee, asking why they aren’t enforcing the big sign outside that says, “Masks required,” she said, “We’re all about the customer experience here.” I’m not kidding. The maskless customer was more important than all the rest of us including their own employees! I said, “What about MY experience or that of your employees?”

    So after I was done with the cashier, the maskless idiot was next in line but one line over from me and I just blew up. I yelled something like, “You’re a selfish idiot. You don’t care about anyone else but yourself and you should be ashamed!” Everyone was silent. Probably stunned. Maybe thought I was a Karen. Or a hero. Or a lunatic. I didn’t care. The thought that a major chain was repeatedly putting the other customers and its own employees at risk put me over the top. There was always someone at the front door letting people in to keep capacity low. How did this guy keep getting in? He didn’t even have a mask around his neck. Anyway, I lodged a complaint with the City’s dedicated hotline.

    • lucy2 says:

      Good for you! You are completely right – YOU also have the right to have a good customer experience, and that does not include getting a deadly disease from some dumbass customer. And the employees have the right to work in as safe a place as possible.

  18. ME says:

    Many people have always been garbage. This pandemic just put a spotlight on them. I have lost so much respect for so many people I thought were smart and caring but turned out to be huge anti-mask, anti-vaxx, anti-lockdown nutcases.

  19. teehee says:

    Well.. the fact that EVERY Republican voted AGAINST the stimulus, ie against the people- just to screw over and harm democrats– explains it all.
    People are mad because they are being betrayed by those they entrusted to act in their best interests.
    Then, they’re being lied to, fingers are pointed elsewhere and the exact opposite is being told (The Libs are out to harm you!) so no wonder they are confused, ignorant, and seething with rage at people harming them- all the while having the rug pulled out from under them because it was the exact people thy voted for.
    They’ve been stolen from and lied to so much, they have nothing left to give. They are overworked, underappreciated and exploited and exhausted, and then are thrown out like garbage. Again, by the same people who tell them to aim all that anger and hurt at the opposite party instead.
    So of course when we need “collective action” all we get in response is a giant FU because people have had it up to here- sure, why SHOULD anyone cooperate with such leadership?

  20. olliesmom says:

    I’m a total mask wearer and I live in a state with a mask required mandate. Sometimes when I arrive at the grocery store I’m so focused on not forgetting what I came for that I forget my mask in the car and start walking up to the door. And then I spot people wearing masks and I go back to my car to get it. A woman parked next to me observed me do this last week and she told me that she does the same thing sometimes and that masks are such a part of our lives now that we don’t even think about them we just wear them. And she added she didn’t get the seasonal flu this year. So that’s a plus for wearing masks. MASKS DO WORK with hand washing and distancing. And I always tell people not to touch any of their “face holes” (eyes, nose, mouth) before washing their hands – and that includes your ears!

  21. UnionGal says:

    The number of middle class GenX white women who have fallen for this Q-Anon, COVID, Trump conspiracy nonsense is mind boggling. These are highly educated women, yet they live in an alternate reality. I’d love to move, but these folks seem to be everywhere.

    • Emm says:

      +1000! My cousins are these women and have persuaded their 75+ mother with asthma and diabetes not to get the vaccine because there is a microchip in it.

    • Valerie says:

      I was reading an interview with Grace Slick from about 5-ish years ago where she said that her generation was the best educated. She’s 81 now, and I couldn’t help but wonder what she makes of this whole Q business, seeing as so many people her age have been taken in by it. She’d probably be as baffled by it as I am.

      My mom is 71, and she thinks it’s all a load of shit. She can’t believe how stupid people are, lol.

  22. Valerie says:

    This is what happens when your country is built on the rocky foundation of rugged individualism. I feel like the US has always tended toward that approach, but ever-increasingly since 9/11, which they claim was an equalizer and unifier. Now the prevailing attitude seems to be, “F you, I’ve got mine.” I know not everyone who lives there is like that; there are still good people out there, but sometimes it just seems like they’re outnumbered by a-holes. :(

  23. Ally says:

    People aren’t going to wear masks, trump
    Or not. He sucks, but come on.

  24. GrnieWnie says:

    oh, don’t worry, Melissa. You can watch Australian cops/criminal justice system dump all over aboriginal people there, too.