Melissa McCarthy knows how to keep her romance alive after two decades together — with a prank.
The Can You Ever Forgive Me? star, 48, revealed on Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she bought her husband Ben Falcone, 45, a cell phone for seniors to celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary.
“I gave him a … phone for senior citizens,” McCarthy, who shares daughters Georgette and Vivian with Falcone, said. “It has huge buttons. It’s fantastic. Jitterbug, that’s right. Jitterbug. My kids are horrified by it.”
According to GreatCall, a Jitterbug smartphone features “large easy-to-read letters and numbers” and a special button for emergencies.
Falcone went a more amorous route for his gift. McCarthy recalled, “[He gave me] two beautiful rings, one that said ‘Love.’ And I gave him a Jitterbug phone. I need to work on my romance skills.”
DeGeneres replied, “It’s 13 years in. It’s hard.”
McCarthy’s anniversary plans were as low-key as her gift. “We had a very romantic evening at our house with Richard E. Grant … who’s in my movie,” she said. “He’s about the most delightful person on earth. He found out on the way home. He’s like, ‘Wait, is this your anniversary?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, you’re the gift.’ And we just ate hamburgers.”
McCarthy and Falcone attended the same party a decade before they officially met.
“We were together at a party when he was still in high school and I was in college, but we didn’t talk,” she told DeGeneres. “And later he said, ‘Oh God, I knew who you were.’ I was like, ‘Did I have a cape on?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Sadly, that’s true.”
When she saw him at Groundlings, a comedy theater, 10 years later, she knew she liked him right away. “It’s the first day of class. Everyone’s being louder and crazier and doing weirder characters, and Ben got up there and was so quiet and was just very peculiar,” she said.
“He’s playing an inmate that really liked his new roommate,” she continued. “I immediately was like, ‘Oh, he’s strange. I like him.’ We were friends from day one.”