Paul Feig knew from the minute Melissa McCarthy auditioned for his 2011 hit Bridesmaids he had found someone special. “That audition was one of those moments when you’re like, ‘okay, that person just changed their life,’” he says. And indeed it did, as McCarthy has quickly zoomed to the top of the list of in-demand comedic actresses. “I am fully aware that I got hit by the lucky stick,” she says. Feig and McCarthy reteamed for 2013’s hit The Heat and have partnered again for Spy (in theaters June 5).
McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, an overlooked, underappreciated CIA analyst, who when the agency faces a massive security crisis, volunteers to be put in the field as a secret agent. She gets off to a rocky start but soon discovers to everyone’s surprise (including her own), that she’s more than competent, she’s awesome. Along for the ride with McCarthy are Jude Law as overly suave superagent Bradley Fine, Jason Statham as macho rival agent Rick Ford, and Rose Byrne as the absurdly coiffed Bulgarian baddie Raina Boynov. ‘I refer to this movie as Harry Potter for adults because it’s that thing of—‘Oh my god, I’ve got special powers and now I’m actually getting to use them,’” says Feig.
He had mentioned his script for Spy at a dinner he was having with his wife, McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone. At the time he hadn’t been considering McCarthy for the film because of her busy production schedule on her CBS show Mike & Molly. “I wouldn’t let him off the topic,” McCarthy says. “The more he told me, the more I needed to know what happened next. Finally, by the end of dinner I was like, ‘I need to read it.’ The next morning I called him and begged to play her.” She didn’t need to beg very long, Feig says: “The minute she said she wanted to do it, it was a done deal.”
Watch an exclusive clip from Spy below: