Melissa McCarthy has come a long way from her days playing Sookie St. James on the immensely popular TV Series Gilmore Girls. The funny-woman was recently declared the second-highest earning actress in the world with estimated earnings of about $33 million!
But it is not how much she earns that matters to us (it does but not so much, you know!) but the roles that she has embodied over the years with such finesse that it’s difficult to imagine anybody else doing them.
Today, on the occasion of her birthday, we recount the most definitive roles of her that you must know about.
1. Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls)
Before she took over the big screen, McCarthy delivered a memorable performance as Lorelai Gilmore’s quirky best friend and eventual business partner, Sookie St. James, on the WB’s beloved series. But though she may have played the “best friend”, Sookie was definitely more than just a sidekick, thanks in large part to McCarthy’s multi-layered and heartfelt portrayal. In her hands, Sookie was a complete and complex character all on her own – sweet, lovable, clumsy and slightly manic.
2. Molly (Mike & Molly)
The CBS sitcom, which first premiered in 2010, stars McCarthy as Molly, a smart, charismatic teacher (who eventually quits to become a writer) and one half of the happily married titular couple. The actress earned an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal in 2011 and for good reason. In the early seasons, Molly was warm, optimistic, and funny, much like Gilmore Girls’ Sookie. Her character overcame - and also helped the show overcome - the predictable gags that always pop up in a primetime sitcom.
3. Megan Price (Bridesmaids)
The role that propelled McCarthy to the upper-most echelons of popularity was that of the foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred, man-loving, groom’s sister, Megan. Though the movie featured the actress among an ensemble of talented and highly skilled comedy stars, it was McCarthy who stole every scene she was in. Megan was brazen and unapologetic to be sure, but also smart, kind-hearted, well-adjusted, and most of all, hilarious. The actress earned a slew of award nominations for her funny and filthy performance, including a Best Supporting Actress nod at the Oscars.
4. Detective Mullins (The Heat)
The movie, co-starring Sandra Bullock and reuniting McCarthy with her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, had her playing the character of Detective Mullins. She is gruff, crude, street-smart, unafraid to go outside the rules to catch whatever perp she’s chasing, and has an arsenal of weapons in her living room. Though she and Bullock have great chemistry, the movie is once again McCarthy’s to own. The actress delivered the majority of the film’s funniest moments, making every punchline (improvised or not) feel as if she made it up on the spot.
5. Susan Cooper (Spy)
In the role of a CIA employee who’s never been on the field but works extremely hard to land an opportunity to do so, McCarthy nailed the unintentional hilarity that would ensue if it were to happen for-real to a character like this. This was a far-mature and layered performance because it was supposed to be subtle and loud often at the same time and McCarthy nailed both! Add to that her impeccable chemistry with the cast and it all resulted in a raucous thrill-ride!
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