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. That’s the only skill set I really have. So I have to keep trying.

The worst thing about being famous for Melissa McCarthy is how hard it’s become to follow strangers around a discount store called Big Lots. This is a shop where you can find, for example, patio furniture, a large rack of lamb, sparkly nail varnish and also an Oscar-nominated actress, twice a week, in sunglasses and facemask, staring at strangers. “It’s my therapy, I just find it wonderful.” she says, lightly.

Not just anyone. She doesn’t want to follow just anyone, she likes to follow, for example, the guy wearing all purple, or with his beard tucked into his belt, or the woman in headphones, singing. “I guess it’s because,” she thinks, “everything we’re sold is about perfection – are you making your own organic baby food? Are you milling your own gluten-free flour? So, I have a true love and obsession for someone who’s just like – this is me.” She grins. “Yes, I get a true rush of joy when I can tell someone’s living just as they want. Somebody who’s, like, really rocking their life, I want to be in their glow for a few minutes. It recharges my batteries.” In another life, would McCarthy be one of those people, roller-skating around a discount store, singing? Would she be beard guy? “I think…” she leans in, “I am one of those people. I am beard guy.” […]

And while McCarthy is known for her charm and good-natured jollity, it’s this kind of thing that brings out the rage in her. “I hate any kind of injustice. And people attacking someone for just trying to be who they truly are. What does it matter to them? Do no harm, be kind – if everyone just followed those two rules, we’d be fine. Not,” as she’s seeing in America right now, “‘you can’t read this book’, ‘You can’t talk about certain histories.’ I don’t have any patience for all that.” When she touches on her angers, she gives a glimpse of the tenacity and grit that doesn’t so much lurk behind her cheery optimism as prop it up and push it forward. “Can you imagine if everybody was just kind for one week? The difference would be so unbelievable I don’t even know how it would feel. And the weird thing is, it’s just… not that hard to do?” […]

“There’s a rhythm or a flow, where my mouth precedes my brain in some form?” It’s not only joyful, she says, “It’s really cathartic….“I can be much better off in life. I spend a lot of my work day just… shredding people, so I’m not screaming at someone at a stoplight because they didn’t go the second it turned green. I can wait a minute. I’m fine. […]

“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.” She thinks. “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. That’s the only skill set I really have. So I have to keep trying.” [..]

She has this theory, she says. If two people are standing on opposite street corners, “and one person is screaming hate, just terrible things, while the other person is saying, ‘You’re doing a great job. Keep it up! You’re a good parent!’ everyone’s going to look at the hate screamer, right?” She sighs, it’s what we do, human heads are easily turned. “Partly because, it’s hard to scream compliments. Niceness – it’s not as noticeable. So when I see people out there with microphones literally screaming terrible things, I always want to get like, a slightly bigger microphone.”

This impulse is a trait that she shares with the characters she plays, a compulsion to question the modern world and a bawdy confidence, which inevitably makes everything better. “Actually,” she adds, quite serious now, “I would not mind spending a day on the street corner just randomly complimenting people, really loudly. ‘You have terrific pants on,’ or ‘I love your fringe!’” She thinks for a second. “I’m going to have to do it, aren’t I?” I’m pretty sure, I tell her, she already is.

— Eva Wiseman, excerpts from “Interviewing Melissa McCarthy: ‘I spend a lot of my work shredding people‘” (The Guardian, May 21, 2023)


  1. Love her…when I started blogging, I did a random experiment – I placed complimentary post-its wherever I felt like it – on cars, the mirror of a womens’ restroom, on top of books at Barnes and Noble..I didn’t anticipate any responses (they were all written anonymously), and I can honestly say that it was a great day. How many people would smile at a note that reminds them that they’re special, needed in this world, beautiful, smart..etc..It was a flight of fancy and an end result that allowed me that chance to love the world in a tangible way..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ah-h Humor! Love Melissa McCarthy! Humor is so healing…anyone remember her on SNL playing Sean Spicer as Press Secretary?
    Regarding compliments, I often give total strangers compliments, so now, I’m encouraged to continue doing that.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What breaks my heart is… That we all know this deep down. Kindness can move mountains… And yet so many people are caught up in the BS of everyday life… That the thought of being kind never gets to the top of their daily “priority list”.

    Living in this way (not being kind) is insane. I can’t think of another word to describe it better.

    I hope one day people will “wake up“ to this fundamental concept. Sadly, with all the turmoil in the world today, I cannot be optimistic about it happening anytime soon…

    But we have to start somewhere… So let’s start now! Let’s all find a way to spread a little kindness… Today!

    Peace Everyone…Paul

    Liked by 3 people

  4. She has a great perspective… and shares so much via her comedy. Love this share DK. It’s a “do no harm” and “be kind”day today!


  5. I so get this


  6. Christie says:

    Love Melissa McCarthy! I started reading your share and at this time I just can’t finish reading it. now…Our 15 year old pup, died Sunday afternoon & we buried him yesterday, in the garden -next to our old Saber boy cat who died in mid January…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I love this woman … “Eva Wiseman, excerpts from “Interviewing Melissa McCarthy: ‘I spend a lot of my work shredding people‘” (The Guardian, May 21, 2023).”


  8. Bulletholes says:

    I’ve come to appreciate how much power I can have over someone’s day, just by paying attention…
    I like it when I go to Sonic, and the girl taking my order sounds like she is new; she stumbles over the order a little bit (unsweet raspberry ice tea, easy ice) and when she comes out the door I can see that she is worried, tentative, maybe her last customer was mean, but she comes out the door and shes frowning and uptight, she looks up and sees me, I give her my biggest best smile and I can see the worry melt off her face, her shoulders relax, and she is smiling too, and she gets to the car and I give her my best hello and thank you, now she’s half laughing happy and relieved and says you’re welcome and confidently skips back to the door, what a great day at work she must be thinking. Its not much, but its good to know you can have that kind of power if you just pay attention to someone besides yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This — “human heads are easily turned” — so true. We turn away from beauty, kindness, Love; pain, ugliness, things that make us uncomfortable. And, to hide our discomfort, we turn towards…. hate.

    Share a little kindness. Make a little sunshine. Carry it all in your heart and spread it where ever you go.


  10. Love Melissa and her attitude. Right up my alley!


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