Melissa McCarthy reveals working on a ‘hostile, volatile’ set left her ‘physically ill’
The actress reveals her previous experience working on a toxic movie set.
‘The Little Mermaid’ star Halle Bailey recently praised her co-star Melissa McCarthy for teaching her how to speak up and say what works for her on set. However, there was a time when McCarthy herself was still learning to speak up for herself.
Although she did not name the specific set or film she was on, in a recent interview with The Observer, McCarthy revealed she once become physically ill due to working on a toxic set that left many cast and crew in tears.
The experience led McCarthy to realize she can’t remain complicit in unhealthy working conditions. It led McCarthy to where she is now, an experienced actor who knows when to speak up.
Physically ill from work
“I did work for someone once who ran such a volatile, hostile set that it made me physically ill,” McCarthy said. “My eyes were swelling up, I was absorbing all of this nuttiness.”
“There were people weeping, visibly so upset by this one person. And I think that’s why the manipulation worked, because to get to me this person would fire people I loved, which kept me quiet. It was very effective. Then one day, I was like, ‘It stops today!’ I just kept saying to them, it stops, it stops. And I know now I’ll never keep quiet again.”
What’s next for McCarthy?
McCarthy plays the sea witch Ursula in Disney’s live-action ‘The Little Mermaid,’ which is slated for release in theatres on May 26. It’s the Oscar nominee’s first Hollywood musical.
However, McCarthy will return to what she knows, comedy, in a Christmas-themed film for Peacock.
“It’s a fist fight to try to get comedies made right now. And I don’t know why, because we’ve never needed to laugh more,” McCarthy told The Observer. “Comedy allows you to sit next to somebody whose ideas don’t match up. And maybe you come out a little closer. I think that’s what I’m supposed to be doing in this world.”
“I can’t do a lot of useful things. I don’t know how to clean up the oceans or stop our violent tendencies. But I can hopefully give someone who’s had a bad day an hour and a half to go into a different world where bills or illness isn’t the top thing on their brain,” she added. “That’s the only skill set I really have. So I have to keep trying.”