Melissa McCarthy has had a pretty good summer. “Mike & Molly” ended its first season as the top-rated new comedy on TV. She turned in a scene-stealing performance in “Bridesmaids,” and last month she scored her first Emmy nomination for her work on the CBS show.
“It’s been nice couple of — god yeah,” McCarthy told Zap2it Wednesday night (Aug. 3) at the Television Critics Association press tour. “Crazy. Delightful.”
McCarthy also had one of the more memorable reactions to being nominated in recent memory (you can watch it here). She was announcing the nominations with “Fringe” star Joshua Jackson on July 14, and she was a little overcome when she heard her name (she says the TV academy kept her nomination secret during rehearsals). She recounts her “completely surreal” in-the-moment reaction:
“It was all going along smoothly, and then my name comes up, but usually when your name comes up it’s prompting you. … It said ‘Melissa,’ so I sort of leaned forward and couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to say. The only thing under my name was ‘Mike & Molly,’ but I was like, I don’t know why I’d suddenly lean forward and just say ‘Mike & Molly.’ I really thought they were saying I was supposed to say something, and I thought, Oh god, we’re on live TV, is this a teleprompter problem? So I was kind of looking around — ‘Is anyone going to give me my lines?’ Then Joshua said my name, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. …
“They didn’t put the name up in rehearsals at all, and it wasn’t until we were live that they added my name in. Then my knees went, I got shaky, and I was like, ‘OK, pull it together, there are other names to say.’ So I kind of dug my nails into my palms and just went on with it. But in 8 billion years, I didn’t see it coming.
“My husband [fellow ‘Bridesmaids’ actor Ben Falcone] was in bed. … He asked me, ‘Should I get up and watch?’ I was like, ‘No — there’ll be a list. You can just read it later.’ ‘Do you want me to Tivo it?’ ‘No …’ I just didn’t know.”
“Mike & Molly” starts work on its second season next week, and while she doesn’t know anything yet about what the coming year will bring, she likes that the show is allowing the relationship between Molly and Mike (Billy Gardell) to grow slowly.
“One thing I love about [co-creators] Mark Roberts‘ and Chuck Lorre‘s sensibility is they’re like, We don’t have to rush this in TV time,” she says. “It’s all the bumbles and stumbles along the way that are interesting to me, and it’s kind of what made me take the show. When we talked about the broad strokes, it wasn’t, Let’s meet and get married and have a kid, and by the end of the first season we have a 7-year-old. Let’s enjoy all those screw-ups and awkward moments. I think it’s going to be a long, flawed engagement.”