Melissa McCarthy told Matt Lauer that "part of the fun of acting" is playing characters unlike herself

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated December 01, 2020 11:29 PM
Credit: NBC

Melissa McCarthy is nothing like her kooky, onscreen characters in movies like Tammy and the upcoming comedy The Boss – and that’s partly why she enjoys playing them.

The actress told Today‘s Matt Lauer on Monday that her onscreen persona in The Boss, Michelle Darnell, favors foul language much more than she does.

“I have two little girls, so we don’t say ‘shut up,’ ” McCarthy explained. “We can’t say anything at home, and I don’t speak like that at all.”

Instead, she finds channeling Darnell’s potty mouth to be a work perk: “Part of the fun of acting is you get to play these characters that kick in doors, say insane things, swear like a sailor – it is the opposite of me.”

McCarthy added, “To play myself, I’d be totally bored. But to get to play somebody that has no barriers, no sensors, that’s the fun of it.”

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Darnell’s personality has been long established: McCarthy first conceptualized her 16 years ago while performing with The Groundlings, the famed Los Angeles improv comedy group.

“I could never shake her,” she told Lauer of the character. “She fascinated me, and getting to play that kind of energy, I just, 10 years later I was still talking about her.”

The Boss hits theaters on April 8.