Everybody loves Melissa McCarthy, the Emmy-winning, SNL-killing, breakout star of Bridesmaids. (And EW’s current cover queen.) Well it turns out that her actor and writer husband Ben Falcone, whom she met during their stint together in the Groundlings comedy troupe, is every bit as marvelous and cool.
Good news, Earth: They’ve spawned. (Their daughters Vivian and Georgette are 4 1/2 and 19 months.) McCarthy describes Falcone as the kind of man who will read to his daughter from her favorite princess book every night but change the dreary narrative unbeknownst to her. “The story is written as ‘Jasmine was a nice girl,’” McCarthy groans. “ ‘She had no life. She was very sad and lonely. Then she met her prince. They got married and lived happily ever after and he ran the kingdom.’ So I’ll be brushing Georgie’s teeth and he’s in the other room reading to Viv and he’s like ‘When Jasmine opened her new orthodontist’s office the prince came in with terrible teeth and she saved him.’ And the next night he’ll be like ‘Jasmine opened up a wild zoo!’ and I hear Viv like ‘No, no, no, the Prince did it!’ And he’s like ‘No he didn’t, no he didn’t. He worked for Jasmine for the next 17 years of his life.’”
He is the air marshal to her Megan, the co-writer of their recently sold TV sitcom and New Line movie script. Below, Falcone shares what it’s like to watch the love of his life enjoy the year of hers:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When were you most proud of your wife this big year?
BEN FALCONE: I mean watching her win an Emmy was pretty special. I was so upset I couldn’t be there. I was in Atlanta filming a movie [What to Expect When You’re Expecting]. Like a crazy person, I flew back from Atlanta for the Saturday night before just to give support and see the kids and then I flew back Sunday like at 12:30 so that I could get back in time to at least watch the Emmys. One of the actors in the movie, Elizabeth Banks, she had a Emmy party and I literally got there 15 minutes before I saw Melissa get crowned.
I’m picturing people shaking up a bottle of champagne and spraying it in your face.
The first thing I did was yell. Everybody got up and yelled ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! She won!!!!’ And then after that I think everybody was kind of concerned for me because I fell into a weird, slack-jawed stunned silence for like 20 minutes.
What did you think of her speech?
It was so great. I had been gone on the movie for most of that month so she was being Super Mom at home. Our kids are so gorgeous and they’re also so tiring. So the time that a normal person would think about writing a speech she didn’t get. There was literally, I saw one half-written thing and there were crayon drawings on it because Vivian probably grabbed it and said ‘Mommy, let me help you.’
Small children have a way of keeping everything messy and in perspective.
Speaking of that, someone told us there was a Mike & Molly billboard on Hollywood Blvd and Vine and I was like Okay, I gotta see the billboard! But I’ve got kids, it’s taking me three days, I feel like a jerk. So one day the little one was napping and finally I say ‘Vivian, you’re going to come with me and we’re going to look at something special.’ I kept trying to sell her on it too, like ‘Vivian, we’re going to go Hollywood to see something really, really special.’ The whole time in the car I’m pumping her up about it. So I pull over at the gas station and get out of the car and say ‘Look! There’s Mommy!’ And then Vivian says ‘Oh wow, now can we go see something special.’ I mean holy s#!t, come on man. And then I bought her a blue ball at Rite Aid for a buck and she was like ‘Oh this is so special!!!’ And she still loves that ball.
Even if the kids are rightly underwhelmed, what’s it like for you to see your wife get this type of a shine?
Boy she’s been working so hard and so long. Finally in Bridesmaids she got a chance to do what she can really do, which is take a crazy big character and make her really real. You know that touching scene with her and Kristen on the sofa? That really helped drive the character Megan home and keep a good flow to the movie. I remember finding that scene in the theater really moving. And when she first won the Emmy I welled up a little bit and I welled up when I saw her and Kristen on stage at SNL, just thinking ‘Holy crap, there’s Melissa and she’s doing it.’
Melissa described the sitcom you all recently sold to CBS as the story of a woman in the throes of a “spectacular mid-life crisis.”
It seems like everyone’s talking about females in comedy, and people are suddenly like ‘Hey, there’s funny girls!’ So I think it’s cool that it’s going to be a show based around a woman going through something real in her life. I’m not much of a joke writer. But I think we can take this character and make a comedy that comes from real people, real situations, real dramatic things happening in your life. By the way, to be in a comedy meeting and pitching your thing and say ‘Hey we don’t write jokes well’ and for the person you’re talking to go ‘That’s great!’?! Melissa having so much good will now helps.
And congratulations to the both of you on the recent sale of Tammy to New Line, in which Melissa will play the titular star.
Thanks! I had an idea about a woman who takes a road trip with her Grandmother, set in the Midwest. Melissa is Tammy. It’s a version of Melissa, who in real life is so charming and pretty, but just taking that Midwestern ethic of tough, solid, sensible side of her. It’s a comedy with a fairly dramatic start to the story and there’s only a few people who could do it justice. Thank God I’m married to one of them. I literally cannot tell you how excited I’ll be for the day when I’m sitting there looking at a monitor watching Melissa be Tammy. I cannot wait. The thought of her being the lead role in a movie that we envisioned for her to play is just unbelievable.