GLAMOUR’S MAY COVER STAR MELISSA MCCARTHY ON BECOMING ONE OF THE HIGHEST-PAID WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD
“I always think, Is the deal fair? Would you be asking the same thing of a guy in this position? And if the answer is ‘It probably wouldn’t be happening to a guy,’ I’ll dig my teeth in for months.”
Melissa McCarthy’s ability to throw herself into a role—often literally—is what makes her so funny, from her show-stealing performance as the oddball future in-law in Bridesmaids to her spot-on Sean Spicer impersonation on Saturday Night Live. But at the negotiating table, it’s McCarthy’s ability to deploy her “fists of justice” that transformed her from an Illinois farm girl with credit card debt to one of the highest-paid women in Hollywood. For Glamour’s “Money Issue,” on newsstands May 1, we wanted to learn about McCarthy’s fiery resolve to get the roles and production deals she wants—and to make sure she’s not being taken for a ride. The coproducer, cowriter, and star of Life of the Party, in theaters May 11, sat down with Glamour to share her hard-earned lessons on getting heard, getting ahead, and getting paid. We’re taking notes.
Quotes from McCarthy’s interview are below. For the full story, visit Glamour.com or pick up a copy of the May issue on newsstands May 1.
Please link back to the story on glamour: https://www.glamour.com/story/melissa-mccarthy-may-2018-cover-story
To download Glamour’s May cover and high-res images from the story, click here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8ruc6mv5j6pygh0/AAAEP01E90Tj9retH4P0rxQka?dl=0
*Photo credit: Miguel Reveriego
Her advice on how to win at the money game:
“I think you have to play. It’s like this: You can stay in a local theater and work for the art of it, and that’s great. Or you can say, ‘I can make this my business.’ And if you want to do your business well, you’d better learn how to handle those negotiations, how and when to push, and when to lay off.”
On why negotiating is about more than just the money:
“Having a say in something means as much to me as getting a fair price. I never want to lose my voice.”
On learning to fight for her worth:
“There were some jobs when I was paid what most [of my costars were]. And then people who climbed the ladder with me were suddenly making 15 times what I made. I was like, Wait, wait, wait. I thought, This is based on bullshit. This not based on anything factual to me. I hated that feeling of not being in control and not being able to do anything about it. I think that feeling is what keeps the fight in me.”
On learning to love the struggle:
“If you’re handed everything you want at 19 or 20, you may actually believe all of the people who are like, ‘You’re amazing.’ I think I would have been probably cuckoo [if I’d been successful] at 18. I think the best thing I could have done was struggle until I was 30. I always assume every job is my last. Twenty years of desperately trying to get a single job gets deep in your DNA.”
On making sure the people you pay are actually working for you:
“I give pretty strong advice to costars, like, ‘Dig in deep and don’t sell yourself short.’ And, ‘Don’t confuse someone working for you with them doing you a favor.’ You show up and do your job; it should be the same with agents, managers, the tax guy. Jennifer Coolidge…taught me, ‘The second they stop working for you, fire them.’ Don’t think, I don’t want to be a bitch, I don’t want to cause trouble. If you paid for a bottle of water and then that person told you to just take off, you’d say, ‘Give me my water. I paid for it.’”
On instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in her children:
“My oldest daughter wants to start selling [slime]. I was like, ‘Great. Start a business.’ It can’t just be ‘gimme, gimme, gimme.’ I talk a lot about, ‘We work hard for things.’”
On appreciating what she’s worked hard for:
“I have a very, very high level of gratitude. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think, I can’t believe I’m doing this. And there is no world where I confuse the fact that I’ve gotten lucky with the idea that there’s something special about me. I think entitlement is a really, really scary thing to possess. For me, it’s like, ‘No. I’ve gotten lucky, and I’ve worked hard.’”
Cover Photo: Yohji Yamamoto blouse. Ariana Boussard-Reifel earrings.
Photo 1: Tory Burch dress. Ariana Boussard-Reifel earrings. Yael Sonia ring.
Photo 2: Mara Hoffman at 11 Honore coat. Zero + Maria Cornejo dress. Ariana Boussard-Reifel earrings. Yael Sonia gold ring. Tomas Maier rings.
Photo 3: Issey Miyake jumpsuit. Missoni hat. Michael Kors bracelet. Birkenstock sandals.