Melissa McCarthy Says Jennifer Coolidge 'Went Out of Her Way' to Help Her Get Her First Role

"I didn't know she knew I was alive," Melissa McCarthy said of Jennifer Coolidge, who helped her get her first role in the 1999 crime comedy Go

Melissa McCarthy and Jennifer Coolidge
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Rich Fury/Getty

Melissa McCarthy has been stealing scenes for years, but it took another iconic comedic actress to help her get her foot in the door.

The two-time Emmy Award winner, 51, recounted how Jennifer Coolidge helped her get her first role in the 1999 crime comedy Go during a screening and Q&A of the Nine Perfect Strangers finale on Tuesday in Los Angeles, hosted by Hulu.

"I didn't know her. I was just a student and she was a company member at the Groundlings," McCarthy recounted. "And she contacted a casting director — I didn't know she knew I was alive — and said, 'I think you should see this girl.' And [casting director] Joseph Middleton, he's like, 'She doesn't do that ever.'"

"I went in, and I got Go, which was my first movie. And then I got an agent, and I was able to join SAG, and it's all... before you ask Jennifer, she goes, 'I didn't do anything,'" McCarthy added in her best Coolidge voice. "But she did. She went out of her way and just was really kind to me."

She went on to land her breakout role as Sookie St. James the next year in Gilmore Girls, before going on to serve hilarious performances in movies like Bridesmaids, Spy and Ghostbusters (2016). McCarthy's also flexed her muscles as a dramatic actress in films like The Kitchen and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which earned her her second Academy Award nomination, following her first for Bridesmaids.

McCarthy has praised Coolidge, 60, in the past for seeing something in her before she became the star she is today. She even imparted some sage wisdom that the White Lotus star shared with her.

RELATED VIDEO: Melissa McCarthy & Regina Hall 'Fascinated' by Nicole Kidman Filming Nine Perfect Strangers

"Jennifer Coolidge, who is one of the funniest creatures on the planet and the reason I got my first job in a movie, taught me, 'The second they stop working for you, fire them,'" McCarthy said to The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. "Don't think, 'I don't want to be a b----, 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.'"

See Melissa McCarthy in Nine Perfect Strangers, all episodes now streaming on Hulu.

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