As one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, Melissa McCarthy knows just how vital it is to include women in the filmmaking process.
“I think it’s incredibly important,” McCarthy, 45, said Wednesday at a press conference for her latest film, The Boss.
“I think the world has two sexes, and if no one behind the camera, no one running it can really speak to, ‘that’s not what a woman would say,’ or ‘that doesn’t feel right,’ you don’t have that whole point of view. You’re just limiting the scope. You’re limiting your credibility,” she continued.
The actress stars in the new film, and also co-wrote and co-produced it alongside husband Ben Falcone, who directed.
As a woman who has made her success in comedic female-led projects including Bridesmaids, The Heat and Gilmore Girls, McCarthy’s seen the difference a strong female presence can have on a film – and how a spectrum of female voices is necessary behind the scenes.
“I just think any time you mix it up, the world gets more interesting,” she said. “You want to hear from somebody who’s a mom, somebody who’s 18 … if I get a group of people to listen to something and watch something, I certainly don’t want every single person to be the same exact type of person. You learn nothing from it because everybody has the same point of reference.”
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The force behind the Melissa McCarthy Seven7 clothing line also explained that having both men and women on a film set is key to ensure that all voices are being accurately represented on screen.
“If you mix it up and take a good, random grouping of different demographics, it opens your world to a new point of view,” she said.
Plus, women can immediately spot dialogue that sounds phony – and vice versa.
“I wrote something once and Ben’s like, ‘no guy has ever said that at all.’ I wrote like a terrible sports song. He’s like, ‘that doesn’t make any sense.’ And he also wrote something, this is years ago, where somebody was trying on clothes and said, ‘that s a terrific top. Do you like my top?’ Like, no woman’s ever actually said that. That’s not what’s going on in your dressing room. Not talking tops.”
The Boss hits theaters April 8.
• Reporting by SCOTT HUVER