Melissa McCarthy has finally responded to a scathing review of her acting and body image from New York Observer film critic Rex Reed.
The film critic trashed the "Identity Thief" star in April in his review of the zany comedy that costars Jason Bateman as a victim of McCarthy's felonious identity-stealing con artist.
Reed described the Emmy Award-winning "Mike & Molly" star as "cacophonous," "tractor-sized," a "humongous creep" and a "hippo" in the review.
"Melissa McCarthy is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success," Reed wrote. "Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?"
Fans and readers went on to pan Reed for his harsh criticism, and the film turned out to be a surprise box-office success.
McCarthy did not immediately respond to the critic's take until a recent interview with the New York Times leading to her buddy-cop comedy "The Heat," costarring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock.
The 42-year-old "Bridesmaids" star had been effervescent as usual until interviewer David Itzkoff asked her about the infamous review.
"Really?" she said her reaction was at the time, "Why would someone OK that?"
The Groundlings comedy troupe alum has spoken out before about her weight but said she was trying to be a positive example to her children with actor Ben Falcone — Vivian, 6, and Georgette, 3 — in "a strange epidemic of body image and body dysmorphia."
"I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate," she said of Reed, though not naming him. "I just thought, that's someone who's in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs."
"It may have crushed me" if the review came when she was 20, she added. But now, she said articles like that "just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, 'That doesn’t reflect on me.'
"That makes it more true. It means you don't actually look good enough."
Her answer was then interrupted by the restaurant's fire alarm, Itzkoff said.
It's too bad, because inquiring minds would still like to know more ...
"The Heat" hits theaters June 28 and has already been well received at early screenings, potentially poising the comedy to be liked by critics and perform well at the box office.
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