She starred in the college comedy “Life Of The Party” and was a crude cop in “The Happytime Murders”. Now, Melissa McCarthy is showing a different side to her in the upcoming film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
McCarthy, 48, takes on the role of celebrity author Lee Israel, known as the “American Forger”. Based on Israel’s autobiography the film follows the defamed author and her journey from celebrated writer to fraud.
ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante caught up with the star to talk about the movie.
McCarthy shares she was not familiar with the story before getting the role. “I felt disappointed in myself that I didn’t know her story. I was in New York during those years — did I pass her and not even notice?”
Lee Israel turned to forgery when she was told to find another way to make a living. The writer would take literary letters from well-known writers and tweak them to be worth more money.
When being asked about playing the “American Forger”, McCarthy admits to forging her mom’s signature: “I skipped school — don’t do this if anyone’s watching, but I signed my mom’s name and skipped school for a day… I passed it to a nun in high school who wouldn’t have known my mom’s writing. I did it because I was shifty at the time.”
McCarthy, who is known for playing comedic characters, discusses the shift in women playing layered, three-dimensional figures: “It’s what I always look for, for me. If it’s comedy or drama there is no difference; I go for the story and the character and the character has to be three-dimensional,” she says. “It’s the flaws. Even our dearest friends aren’t perfect. I don’t know a perfect person. It’s everyone’s ticks that make us like them or not like them or both. When you have that all in a character that’s when you get a really great story.”
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” hits theatres October 26.