She's one half of our new favorite BFF duo, and one of the funniest women in Hollywood. This summer Melissa McCarthy teams up with Miss Congeniality herself, Sandra Bullock, for a buddy-cop comedy that, despite awkward photoshop jobs, looks pretty hilarious (and with these two women, how could it not be?). Like her Bridesmaids costars, she's one of the women fearlessly proving to the comedic patriarchy that women can indeed be funny — something her director Paul Feig seems to believe in, too.
In The Heat, McCarthy plays the rough, foul-mouthed detective to Bullock's by-the-book FBI agent, paired together to take down a ruthless druglord. What we would do to have been a fly on the walls of that set! We caught up with the funny lady herself, and tried our hardest to live vicariously through her. Between constant swearing, drunkenness, and a lodged peanut up Bullock's nose, it's no wonder the two leading ladies became best friends while working on the flick. Is that really all it takes? 'Cause we might willing to put a peanut up our noses, too, if it means we get to hang with these funny ladies.
What was the craziest thing you and Sandra Bullock did for a laugh?
“Peanuts! Sandy decided in the middle of the scene to slam her hand down on the bar and lodge a peanut up her nose — for comedy, guys, for comedy; a salted peanut. She put it all the way up, and I had a swizzle stick for the scene and I thought, ‘What’s happening? Something's shoved up Sandra Bullock’s nose — just don’t hurt her.’ I thought she didn't do it because that's just too weird and gross. Well, I saw something — it still makes me nervous to talk about it 'cause it's so insane. She had put the peanut way up there. Listen, she’s got tricks. I thought, ‘God, I gotta get that thing out of there!’ I don’t know why I would think it was in me to medically do that, but I really got in there, and I got that guy out of there.”
What's the chemistry between you two?
“We just hit it off right away from the first time we talked. We have a similar sense of humor. It's a bonding thing, you know? We both have children around the same age, we think alike, and have the same weird hobbies. We got along so well that I felt okay to say horrible things to her, if that makes any sense. We really just stayed drunk the whole time, that's the key. We really enjoyed each other while drunk. Sober, not so much. Kidding! Just kidding."
Did you get beat up a lot on set?
“Yeah, horribly! I’m a complete idiot. Every time we started an action scene, I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll do it. Let me go over that fence.’ There was an amazing stuntwoman that took the fall and stuff, but I don’t know. I really enjoyed the process of it until the next day when I was like, ‘Go get me a chiropractor!’ I love to see how physical I can be, though. I just find it really fun. I’m sure I’ll pay for it when I'm 100 years old, and I can’t stand up right.”
What stunts did you actually do?
“Most of the swearing. Pretty much all the swearing was me. I kept falling down on this really hard plastic part of the police car. It hurt every time I’d fall and bang my knee, so naturally I'd curse — no acting there!"
Is all the profanity an Irish thing?
“It is genetic. I blame my people first. If I dropped three f-bombs or if I spiced it up and gave a nice variety of obscenities, Paul would egg me on and say, ‘Throw a couple of more in, throw a couple of more in!’ At one point I just said, ‘I don’t think I have any more in me — I’m tapped!’ He said, ‘Sure you can!’ So, I think our total got up to 190? I was just apologizing to my mom.”
Are you a good role model for law enforcement?
“The Heat's actually just a training video for policewomen. I have a lot of cops in my family. I think Sandra and I both tried very hard handling our weapons, being good cops, but at the end of the day our characters were train wrecks."
Are we entering a golden age for women in comedy?
“I think funny’s funny. I think the general consensus is it doesn’t matter who’s leading it. You’re going to see more movies with women leading in the next five years because that crazy idea that women can’t be funny is finally getting squashed.”
Photo: Everett Collection/Rex USA.