TODAY   |  January 29, 2013

Melissa McCarthy: I’m ‘pinching myself’ over success

The actress best known for stealing scenes in “Bridesmaids,” which earned her an Oscar nod in 2011, talks about her new movie “Identity Thief,” calling co-star Jason Bateman “delightful” and chatting about performing her own stunts.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back at 8:11. no one can forget melissa mccarthy 's scene stealing performance in the hit movie "bridesmaids." the role earned her an oscar nomination. now she's starring in a new movie called " identity thief ," busy stealing identities and scenes again.

>> now i have a plan.

>> melissa mccarthy is here. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> you're tough in this movie.

>> yeah, it's -- we really went a round a couple of times.

>> i want to talk about that in a moment. the producers of this film paid you the highest compliment, because this was a part written for a guy and when they saw you in bridesmaids, they thought, she's manish.

>> no, i was kind of really excited about that.

>> what drew you to this part?

>> well, just getting a call from jason bateman . i already kind of thought, what? are you kidding? we had lunch and he was funny and smart and as delightful as i hoped he would be.

>> i'm glad i'm not the only one. did you grow up watching him and loving him?

>> yes, i think everybody did. he was the main person when i went to meet him, i got a million calls afterwards, please tell me he's nice. i need him to not be crazy.

>> he is nice and not crazy.

>> not crazy.

>> let's talk about how physical this role is. as much as you love jason bateman , you're kind of beating the crap out of him the whole time?

>> yes. i beat the bejeebers out of him.

>> you invented the throat punch. can you explain this?

>> i had to figure out a way to get away from him. he's a strong guy . i'm 5'2". it would have to be something dirty or i just punch him in the throat and everybody would laugh and jason said that seems like a terrible idea. then they kept pitching it and they're like, maybe you should just punch him in the throat. and i punched him in the throat 17 times. shooting the movie you're doing it about 75 times. i missed occasionally.

>> i heard you guys did a lot of your own stunts.

>> yeah. and we're up close, we have dialogue, there's no way to switch it out. oh, wait, what i thought was really funny, it's like now i have to do it. i didn't plan on that right.

>> tell me how the last couple of years has been for you. such a whirlwind, nominated for an oscar, won an emmy, you're going to red carpets. you're kind of an "it" girl.

>> oh, lord. i don't know about that. to try to work for so long, i've been doing this for a good 20 years. and you just want to work. you hope to god you get a job. to suddenly be getting to do all these jobs that are, you know, just a dream situation with people that i didn't think i would ever meet, let alone get to work with and be friends with, and directors that just as creative and collaborative and dreamy as can be, it's like i just have to keep pinching myself. ben and i, every once in a while , will go, are we really here? this is happening. we try to check in and not let it pass by.

>> so fame has totally changed you?

>> yes. i don't -- i'm carried everywhere. i only drink alaskan water.

>> you told me not to look you in the eye. one thing that's great about you, you occasionally get a little star struck and i hear you wanted to meet our former vice president.

>> yes.

>> should we go over and say hello?

>> yes.

>> i'll take you there. it actually helps us.

>> just hold on to it.

>> i don't care.

>> i'll hold that. you shake. here's mr. al gore . melissa mccarthy .

>> you make me laugh.

>> oh, lord. that's crazy to hear. you make me hopeful, which is more important.

>> thank you.

>> this is a great way to tease it. the former vice president will join us to talk more about the