Melissa McCarthy recalls a ‘fickle’ on-set experience that left her ‘physically ill’

Melissa McCarthy has recalled how she once worked for someone who created such a “hostile” environment that it made her “physically ill”.

The US actor, screenwriter and producer is currently playing the evil sea witch Ursula in Disney’s live-action remake The little mermaid.

In an interview with The Observer, McCarthy, known for her comedy roles in hit films including bridesmaids (2011) and The heat (2013) recalled experiencing her share of egos in Hollywood.

“I once worked for someone who ran such a volatile, hostile team that I became physically ill,” the 52-year-old told the publication. “My eyes swelled, I took in all that craziness.”

When asked what she saw on set, she recalled, “There were people crying, obviously upset with that one person. And I think that’s why the manipulation worked, because in order to get to me, this person fired people I loved, which silenced me. It was very effective.

“Then one day I thought, ‘It’s going to stop today!’ I kept saying to them, “It’s going to stop, it’s going to stop.” And I know now that I’ll never be silent again.”

McCarthy did not identify the person in question. Her comments follow her The little mermaid Co-star Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel in the film, praised McCarthy for encouraging her to stand up for herself on set.

“She said to me, ‘Yes, I had to study. I wasn’t always like that, and when you’re young you’re shy,” Bailey, 22, told CNN. She added that MCarthy told her that as she got older, she learned to “speak up and say what works for her.”

Bailey said it was “really cool” to see McCarthy “arrive on set and be so comfortable with who she was in her own skin and how she stood up for herself,” admitting she was “intimidated” at first. found doing the same.

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Melissa McCarthy as Ursula in The Little Mermaid


First reactions to The little mermaid were largely positive following the May 8 premiere in Los Angeles.

Many have compared it favorably to the 1989 animated original, with Bailey receiving particular praise.

Jodi Benson, who played Ariel in the original version, praised Bailey for her “purity of heart, vulnerability and bravery” in the role, adding that she was “so proud of her”.

Author Zoe Rose Bryant expressed similar gratitude, tweeting: “The little mermaid is a live-action remake that retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love, enhanced even further by an impeccable star performance from Halle Bailey – she was born for the big screen, and that is see why this new take is worth seeing.”

The little mermaid hits theaters on Friday, May 26th.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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