If you’ve seen the trailers for Melissa McCarthy’s newest movie “Tammy,” it’s easy to see surreal it looks to be. The “Mike & Molly” star robs a fast-food restaurant using finger guns, blows up a car and takes a road trip across the country with her alcoholic grandmother.
Knowing all of that, it makes sense that McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, first had the idea for the script while he was sleeping. “Ben came downstairs just having woken up and literally said, ‘I had a weird dream and I think I have to write it. You go on a road trip with your grandmother and she drinks and sleeps around,'” McCarthy explains during a press conference for the movie.
From there, the two of them set out writing the movie and ended up assembling one of the most talented casts imaginable. One of the jewels in their casting crown was the addition of Susan Sarandon as the boozing grandma.
“Ben and Melissa called me and prepared me for the script,” Sarandon says. “I was so excited by the way they work, then Mark Duplass — it was a conspiracy — called me. I didn’t even know he was going to be in the movie, but he called and said, ‘You have to do this.'”
“One of the very first questions, when we were first meeting on the phone, was ‘Are you seeing like a little old granny with glasses and a crocheted sweater and an up-do bun?'” McCarthy remembers Sarandon asking. “And we’re like, ‘Oh God no, she has raging problems with alcohol and sleeps around.'”
The movie also gave McCarthy the chance to work with someone she’s been a long-time admirer of, Kathy Bates. Simply knowing Bates had the script was almost too much for McCarthy as a fan. “I physically, literally was coming apart at seams and I was like, I don’t know if she’s ever going to read it but the fact that it’s in her house is making my have breakdowns all throughout the day,” McCarthy says.
As if McCarthy, Sarandon and Bates weren’t a funny enough trio of women, the movie also features Sandra Oh, Allison Janney, Tony Collette and Sarah Baker. Then, of course, there are the men in the cast. Gary Cole plays Sarandon’s love interest, someone who can match her in drinking, while Duplass appears as his son and a potential romantic possibility for McCarthy. Throw in Nat Faxon and Dan Aykroyd, and the comedic possibilities are endless.
“Tammy” is in theaters Wednesday (July 2).