TODAY   |  October 19, 2013

Elle magazine defends Melissa McCarthy photo

Elle has found itself on the receiving end of rampant criticism over the publication's November cover, which features "The Heat" star Melissa McCarthy covered up. E’s! Alicia Quarles is interviewed by TODAY’s Erica Hill and Craig Melvin.

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>>> a magazine cover controversy, plus the director of the transformers attacked on the set. that set on a movie overseas.

>> lisa is here with us with those stories and lots more.

>> dancing in the morning?

>> it's good. put a little pep in your step.

>>> let's start with this melissa mccarthy cover with a lot of folks talking. the cover of "el" magazine and the magazine is slammed for covering her up.

>> they are going to plan for covering her up because three other actresses on cover and this is their women in hollywood issue and those women are not covered. reese witherspoon and then she is barely wearing anything and the close-up of penelope cruz 's face. we were told melissa picked that outfit and comfortable in it.

>> how does melissa mccarthy feel about it?

>> she is happy with the cover. she said she was nervous to do this kind of a shoot. they said she looked beautiful and i think she looks beautiful as well but i can understand why people are upset about that.

>> she is a fantastic actress. i'm a huge fan.

>>> so this story i'm still trying to wrap my head around the details here. "transformers." they are shooting a new movie in hong kong and a story he was attacked on set and wild tale.

>> it is a wild tale. he told the story.

>> i read it.

>> so basically the first day of filming, he has these two brothers tried to exploit him saying we need thousands of film and we will blast music. these guys try to attack him. he said he ducks. air-conditioning unit is thrown.

>> he says they were carrying a large air-conditioning unit and threw it?

>> my favorite part is when cops were called in he said one of the guys tried to bite the cops and the only thing that saved him was his air bubble.

>> michael, here is the thing about michael bay . he is not a low-key guy. he is pretty intense.

>> like his movies.

>> yeah.

>> he is known for -- he is -- on set actors are afraid of him because he screams and yelling and intense. these guys messed with the wrong guy.

>> they picked the wrong director. let's talk about -- we haven't heard a lot from her after she left "the o.c." what does she share?

>> the on the cover of "people" magazine.

>> not that picture.

>> there is the cover. she was under a hole that britney was under. she talks about how she had a breakdown and her life was out of control because of the pressures of young hollywood. she has been media shy for years and the first time she has opened up.

>> this is the part of her first move as she is testing the waters for the comeback?

>> exactly. she has a couple of movies in the works and doing a pilot and living in london and has a house in the hollywood hills she comes back to often. she got sick of people talking about her weight and out of controlness and said, "it's time for me to speak up."

>> she was very thin on that show and then she got normal and now people say she is fat so you can't win.

>> she says was only abusing substances because of the pressure she was under. she is a decent normal size and people saying she is ridiculed but she is in a good weight.

>> i don't like that you throw in there tried because we didn't say anything.

>> we were just going right along with it.

>> thank you. you can watch "e news" week nights at