SBIFF Photo Gallery: Melissa McCarthy Receives the Montecito Award

Posted on Feb 8 by Leslie Dinaberg

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy received the Montecito Award for Can You Ever Forgive Me? on Sunday at The 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

An excited, sold out crowd greeted Melissa McCarthy as she entered the stage to sit in conversation with IndieWire Editor at Large, Anne Thompson, to discuss her beginnings on stage, what she learned from her time at the Groundlings, and her future behind the camera.

Discussing her early days doing stand-up comedy, McCarthy says one of the reasons she didn’t do it for long was that she “never walked into a room where a guy didn’t tell me, ‘Take your shirt off!’ and they are just yelling at you. They would keep yelling until you have to embarrass them, but then you spend four of your five minutes eviscerating them.”

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

She confided that her actress friend Jennifer Coolidge  (perhaps best known for playing Stifler’s Mom in American Pie) made a call to a casting agent, which ultimately earned McCarthy her first movie role, in the 1999 Doug Liman directed film, Go. Her first big television role, as “Sookie” on Gilmore Girls was originally to be played by Alex Borstein (currently co-starring in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) who was contractually obligated to MadTV at the time. McCarthy is still stunned that her first job on Gilmore Girls lasted for seven years.

On her memorable scene in the pawn shop in The Hangover—where she ignores Bradley Cooper to flirt with Zach Galifianakis—McCarthy says, “I thought, I wonder if anyone has ever just shunned Bradley off like this. I thought, this is probably good for him.”

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

As for her future projects, McCarthy says, “I am ready to direct. I did some Mike and Molly’s and I did a short for the Oscars and I loved it. I would like to not be in it. I just want to be there and concentrate on the people in it.”

McCarthy’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? co-star Richard E. Grant presented the award and began his presentation with a google translation of the meaning of McCarthy, “loving.” Grant says, “I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have loving words to say about her.” McCarthy accepted her award giving thanks to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for “shining a light on these types of movies.”

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy attends the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Anne Thompson, Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant pose backstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Anne Thompson, Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant pose backstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF Director Roger Durling, Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant pose backstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF Director Roger Durling, Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant pose backstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant speak onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant speak onstage at the Montecito Award honoring Melissa McCarthy during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Leslie Dinaberg

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