Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy has picked up a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her performance in the R-rated comedy"Bridesmaids."
It's been quite the year for McCarthy, who saw her fame rise with the release of “Bridesmaids” last spring, and the Golden Globe nomination that followed. That’s on top of her Emmy win in September for her work on the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly," when she told the audience, "I'm from Plainfield, Ill., and I'm standing here and it's kind of amazing." McCarthy also hosted one of the more notable episodes of “Saturday Night Live” this season.
As the unglamorous but straight-talking and boldly confident member of the wedding party in "Bridesmaids," McCarthy gained notice for her go-for-broke performance, working opposite her actor husband Ben Falcone, who was on the receiving end of her character’s aggressive airborne flirtation. Despite rumors of a sequel, McCarthy has said she will not reprise the role unless Kristen Wiig is on board.
"We've all been (friends) for 13 (or) 14 years," McCarthy said of her co-stars, talking to People magazine on Tuesday. "These are people at my wedding. These are my really close, dear friends. ... We are all having this otherworldly year together.” Anticipating some nervousness on the day of the Oscar ceremony, she also told the magazine that "I hope I can figure out something else to say to Glenn Close other than 'Holy s––– you're Glenn Close.’”
Although she grew up just a few miles from Chicago and comedy hubs such as Second City and iO Theater, McCarthy trained on the West Coast with the LA improv company The Groundlings. Prior to that, she attended St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy) before a stint at Southern Illinois University where she studied fashion and clothing design. Her parents still live in Plainfield.
"I always tell people that she was a late bloomer,” said Sister Barbara Kwiatkowski, who was dean of students during McCarthy’s high school years. “She was known for her wit and her humor when she was here. She was in the school play and seemed to have a creative bent, but there was never anything that stood out to say, ‘Hey, this one’s gonna make it.’ I think she just kind of found her niche.”
Kwiatkowski was a surprised guest when McCarthy appeared on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show back in November, and “I could tell she was really touched when I told her our school community was really proud of her. Just to hear her talk, she is so grounded and she hasn’t let celebrity go to her head. Here’s somebody that was told over and over again that ‘You’re not going to make it,’ and she proved them wrong.”
A mother of two, McCarthy shot her scenes in “Bridesmaids” while also juggling her duties on "Mike & Molly" — just a few months after giving birth to her second daughter.
McCarthy continues her affiliation with “Bridesmaids” co-writer Annie Mumolo (who is nominated alongside Kristen Wiig for best screenplay), teaming up to write a new film that will star McCarthy as a wife who decides to help her husband steal the Stanley Cup.