Melissa McCarthy’s advice for her daughters: ‘If you love it, keep doing it’


Melissa McCarthy is nominated for her second Academy Award with her role as Lee Isreal in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Since she’s not the front runner in her category, she’s not campaigning as much as just enjoying the ride. Adorably, her mom has been tagging along to many of the Pre-Oscar festivities. Melissa is very close to her parents. When she subbed for Jimmy Kimmel, she brought both them out on Barcaloungers for the show. She’s always credited them with her joie de vivre. Melissa also credits them with her success, but not in the way we usually hear. During her interview on ET Live!, Keltie Knight asked Melissa about why her folks are surprised by Melissa’s fame. Melissa clarified that they’ve always been supportive, but they reinforced working for what you love and not just expecting it because you are somehow special (:58 mark)

Keltie Knight: I’ve read that both your parents, your mom included, find your success still a little of a shock. Like, ‘we’re not really sure how she did that.’ Can you speak to that? Because most parents are like, ‘my kid is the best, the prettiest, the most talented!’

Melissa McCarthy: They were never not supportive. I mean, they were incredibly supportive, but never ‘Everything you do is amazing. You’re built for magic and spun sugar.’ It’s like, ‘if you work hard enough and you put everything into it, why not you? And it may not be instant and it may not ever happen, but if you love it, keep doing it.’ And I think that’s the best thing, and I hope to pass on to my girls. I don’t think it helps to just tell someone, like, ‘You’re just better.’ You have to work at it and you need to hear, ‘Work really hard and then you’ve got as good of a chance as anybody else.’

This is how I was raised. My parents also taught me how to be introspective when I fell short and not search for outside forces to blame. Melissa has a few advantages but I don’t doubt she works hard. I think people tried to pigeon-hole her into certain roles and categories and she’s plugged along until she could make the films she wanted. I may not love everything she does, but I appreciate that she did it on her own terms. This is a great lesson to pass on to her daughters. I hope I do the same.

Melissa also said in the interview that she already has her dress for the Oscars, “It’s fun and different for me, and it’s also different from what most people wear.” I’ve been loving her styling lately so I’m looking forward to it. Keltie also reminded Melissa that fellow nominee, Rami Malek, got his SAG card with his role on Gilmore Girls. Melissa added that he pretended to be his own agent to get the part. He wasn’t in a scene with Melissa but it’s still nice awards season symmetry.




Photo credit: WENN Photos, ET Live! And YouTube

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13 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy’s advice for her daughters: ‘If you love it, keep doing it’”

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  1. deezee says:

    I like hearing her say ‘Work really hard and then you’ve got as good of a chance as anybody else.’
    One thing that bugs me about successful people, is when they say that if you work hard, you will succeed. And that isn’t true. You can be the hardest working person out there but things never happen for you. Chance plays a part, as does timing. Think of regular people you know that work hard at their jobs but someone else is the one getting the promotions and recognitions.
    This is a good lesson for her to pass on to her kids, and anyone else for that matter.

    • Monicack says:

      Or a minority. Or a woman. Or non binary. Or non hetero. Or foreign. Or etc. it’s not even always about hard work though.

      • Sue Denim says:

        I know…the revelations of just how awful the war on women has been for years have been devastating but also clarifying — it’s helped me fight for myself more, and also refocus my definition of success away from external markers (generally controlled by white men) toward just being the best I can be and knowing that. Yesterday was a hard day for me tho w the SOTU address and where we are as a country. I didn’t watch it but it just is too awful to believe sometimes…

      • Monicack says:

        Beautiful comment. Never stop fighting and never shift the focus of your lens.

  2. OriginalLala says:

    I love her – I’m re-watching Gilmore Girls and I just adore her. I’m so happy she has been so successful

  3. Esmom says:

    It is such a good lesson to pass on to your kids. My sister is trying to do that with her daughter and she’s frustrated by my mom’s well meaning but potentially undermining efforts as she constantly tells her “you’re the prettiest, the smartest, the best.”

    My mom also was definitely not supportive of doing what we loved. She just wanted us to be financially secure. Which I understand as she grew up in poverty, but it was hard to feel like we were always on the verge of disappointing her.

    I absolutely want my boys to do what they want but I worry about their potential ability to pay their rent, etc. They’ve grown up comfortably but I feel like I keep reminding them that starting out on their own in just a few short years is likely to be a shock. Wage stagnation and income inequality is scary af. Not to mention access to affordable healthcare.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      As peak Baby Boomers, we’ve watched things go up and things go down, and know life will be tougher and more competitive in the future. Reduced standard of living. Harsher. For millennials, it already is rough. We have tried to raise our young-adult daughter to work hard and find the place where her interests and aptitudes meet market needs – and to create a bigger, balanced life so everything doesn’t ride on how work goes. We don’t know yet how this will work out; she’s in school training. I think she sometimes is upset that we didn’t shower her in ‘special snowflake’ gushing like some of her friends’ parents did. We focus on her effort and accomplishments, for her to take pride in her work. She’s not a reflection of us; we have had our own accomplishments. And we love her to pieces and show that, too.

      • Esmom says:

        WATP, Sounds like you are doing a great job. Best to you and to her. Whoever said parenting gets easier as the kids get older was dead wrong, imo. Not for the faint of heart!

  4. Who ARE These People? says:

    That’s a great message for kids to hear, because it’s more about things they can control than things they can’t. People aren’t hired for being innately “special;” they’re hired (assuming a level playing field, sigh, and a healthy economy, sigh – I’m not unrealistic) because they have the potential to work hard and get along with people as well as the basic required skills.

  5. Itteh Bitteh says:

    Can her parents adopt us all? Just for little gems like that.

  6. Harryg says:

    She’s great!
    And I love those red shoes.

  7. lucy2 says:

    I feel like of all the celebrity kids, hers are growing up with one of the most normal, grounded, and supportive childhoods. I don’t know their names or their ages or anything, even though she does talk about them, and it seems like she (and her husband) are very focused on doing the very best they can.

  8. Kristen says:

    I absolutely love Melissa McCarthy! She is always so inspiring and hilarious, I want a friend like her!