Watching her young daughters — Vivian, 10, and Georgette, 7 — turn into teenagers could be the end of Melissa McCarthy. The funnywoman made the revelation while chatting about her new movie, "Life of the Party" — in which she stars as a stay-at-home mom who enrolls in her daughter's college after her husband leaves her for another woman — with Wonderwall.com. The comedy depicts one of the more pleasant mother-daughter relationships — a rarity! — and the actress is hoping life imitates art as far as her real kids are concerned. The Oscar nominee also dished on working with her husband and frequent collaborator, "Life of the Party" director Ben Falcone, and what he does to make her laugh, channeling her real parents for the film, her dad's hilarious cameo in the movie and more! Keep reading for the highlights from our chat, and catch "Life of the Party" in theaters now!
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Melissa McCarthy on how the idea for "Life of the Party" came to her:
"It came to me how many of our movies [come]: Ben [Falcone], my lovely husband, walking in going, 'You know what I thought of?' This was kind of the same. The story came pretty much at the same time as the character. My mom was actually visiting, and Ben said he was just kind of looking at both of us. I'm this age and my mom is in her 70s. He said he kind of started to think, 'What was Sandy like in her 40s?' And whatever age I was, did I appreciate her or did I just see her as my mom? And colleges are very near and dear to Ben's heart because he grew up in a college town. He just kind of drifted into this story, and I was like, 'Well, what if when you were in school, she went back to school?'"
Melissa McCarthy on ripping off her real parents for her character's parents in "Life of the Party":
"[My mom] has seen the movie. She really liked it. What was really amazing is that my mom and dad are Mike and Sandy, and then in the movie, we just blatantly ripped them off: My mom and dad in the movie are also Mike [Stephen Root] and Sandy [Jacki Weaver]. My dad really does get very excitable and my mom is always offering to make sandwiches. So all of that was literally us just quoting my real parents."
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Melissa McCarthy on her dad and father-in-law, who had small roles in "Life of the Party":
"When I'm playing racquetball with Maya [Rudolph's character], the two cranky old guys sitting at the gym, that's my dad and Ben's dad. … My dad has made crosses in things. I think on 'Gilmore Girls,' he walked in the background. My mom was in 'Tammy' — again, like, leaving the restaurant. This was the first one where my dad got to have a speaking line — and Ben's dad too. We didn't know how it was gonna go, but they're funny guys. My dad kept kind of nodding off. If we would take too long, he'd kind of start to get sleepy. He's the only one who gets his first line in a movie at 76 and is like [yawn]! But they were really funny. It was so surreal to look out there and just see them sitting there yelling at us. It was pretty funny."
Melissa McCarthy on the mother-daughter relationship in "Life of the Party":
"I loved the fact that we were goanna show this mother-daughter relationship where they got along so well — even if it was a tricky situation at first. I'm so close to my mom and Ben's so close to his mom. I know all these great relationships with people's moms, but so often you see, like, the daughter or son eye-rolling the mom and her being a real nightmare. I just thought, 'That's not the world I know.' So we wanted to show a really positive relationship — not cloying and overly sweet — but we wanted to show the relationship with the mom that's what we know."
Melissa McCarthy on her own daughters, who haven't started sassing her yet:
"They're not there yet. Maybe this is what everybody says, but I don't know that it's in their nature. I've been telling them literally since they were 2 years old, 'At a certain time when you're a teenager, you're going to think you have to not like me so you can seem older.' They're like, 'We'll never do that, Mama!' But I have been saying that literally for years. So I feel like if it does ever creep up — even though I don't really think it's in their personalities — I'm gonna be like, 'What did I say? I've been telling you this for 10 years! What did I say?' So I'm trying to lay the foundation for, like, 'You don't have to not like me!' I think I'll cry like a baby if I ever get an eye roll and think they're really embarrassed by me. I'll probably just try to get out of the room calmly and then go cry in my closet. It's going to break my heart. I'll be shattered by it. And then realize it's part of it. But I don't know. Hopeful wishful thinking that it won't happen to me."
Melissa McCarthy on what makes her professional relationship with husband Ben Falcone work so well:
"I think it's how we met, for sure. We met at The Groundlings Theater [an improv comedy troupe], and you have to collaborate there. You needed everybody. You needed other people in your scenes. You needed people to write with you. You needed to really embrace the support because you can't do this by yourself. It's no fun. I don't want to be an island. … It's literally how we met. We met writing and pitching ideas. I always think, 'Throw all the ideas in and see which one wins.' It's never like, 'Well, I thought of this!' Ben would never say, 'This is the way it's gonna go.' Because you don't know until you're shooting on the day — or sometimes not until you're in an editing room — what really works. So we try to stay really open."
Melissa McCarthy on how she and husband Ben Falcone differ when it comes to the editing process:
"Every time something gets cut out, I'm like, 'NO!' But if it's like a three-hour movie, we have to cut it down. I get so attached to everything that it always kind of breaks my heart, but he's always right: Telling the story and not overstaying your welcome is such a big part of it. He always jokingly says he's a robot, and I'm like, 'Well, apparently I'm a marshmallow,' because I want everything in — which would be terrible. But that's why I don't edit and he does."
Melissa McCarthy on what her husband, Ben Falcone, does to make her laugh:
"Oh my God. That's a list that would take me weeks to compile. I think that it's just that he's so incredibly kind and also super-smart and then just does the dumbest, silliest stuff for nothing other than to surprise me and make me laugh. To have somebody who makes you belly-laugh two or three times a day, I'm sure it's extending my life by like 20 years. There are so many things in life that come up that are really serious and you have to deal with, so the day-to-day life, we try to keep it pretty light. We try to keep it light for the girls. He always plays under. I'm so loud and weird. He'll always do something subtle that makes me do a double take, and that really gets me. You almost miss it. His subtly really gets me."
Melissa McCarthy on the young actresses who round out the cast of "Life of the Party":
"I did not take any of these young actresses under my wing. Ben and I kept talking about how — I should just say myself, Ben was probably more together. … I know for a fact that I wasn't that together [at that age]. They were so — all of them — so funny, so kind, so professional. It just seemed like they had all been working for 30 years and still really loved it. I feel like they brought me up. I know for a fact that they kept the energy up on set for the whole crew. … They're all so different. And what was funny was they all stayed in apartments in the same building, so they were like, 'It feels like we're living in a dorm.' They would go do laundry together. They're like, 'Wednesdays are our grocery day!' They would travel in this pack. It was so endearing. I didn't do a sorority or anything, but with that group of really supportive, cool young women, I was like, 'I hope this is what it's like.'"
Melissa McCarthy on the big message at the heart of "Life of the Party":
"I just love the thought of somebody who likes being a mom and likes being a wife but when their life kind of gets shaken up, they're like, 'But what about me? Who am I? I don't hate my life. I don't regret anything in terms of what I'm doing, but maybe I feel like I've missed out on something.' The concept of it never being too late to improve your life or try something new or rediscover who you are is always really exciting to me. I think that's the most hopeful thing: There's always room to change. At 80, you can still learn something new or go somewhere or change your life. I really believe that."