Thinner didn't mean happier for Melissa McCarthy.
The 42-year-old actress, who stars alongside Sandra Bullock in buddy comedy "The Heat," which opens Friday, says she's more content now than when she was younger and slimmer.
"I've been every size in the world," McCarthy says in a new interview with More magazine. "Parts of my twenties, I was in great shape, but I didn't appreciate it. If I was a 6 or an 8, I thought, why aren't I a 2 or a 4?"
The Groundlings alum admits that she was fixated on her appearance during early adulthood, but changed her priorities after becoming a mom. She and actor hubby of seven years, Ben Falcone, who played the air marshall on the plane in "Bridesmaids," are now the parents of Vivian, 6, and 3-year-old Georgette.
"I bought into it — I should be taller, thinner, have better hair," McCarthy explains. "But I think that's part of being young. Now, especially with kids, you lose any sense of time or energy to worry about all the little stuff." (The small things recently included Rex Reed's mean-spirited review of McCarthy's movie "Identity Thief," in which he referred to McCarthy as "tractor-sized" and a "female hippo.")
Besides motherhood, McCarthy now focuses on being an effective character actress. But it's not enough that a role is funny.
"The goal is always that the characters are grounded," she says. "I like to play an eccentric version of people, but I never like to be wacky, wacky, look how crazy I am."
For example, in her latest flick, McCarthy plays a Boston cop assigned to work with an uptight FBI agent played by Bullock. The women's attempt to work with a partner for the first time is meant to be comical, but don't expect things to get too goofy.
"I did not want to play two dingbats who suck at their jobs," McCarthy shares. "I'd rather watch a character be good at something and be challenged — there's more to play in that."
When she's not taking on a non-wacky part or spending time with the fam, McCarthy is acting as her usual, friendly self while on her personal mission to make the people of the City of Angels more friendly on the streets and in stores and restaurants.
"You talk to somebody in a line in L.A., and it's like you've asked them to remove their pants," she says.
Read more of McCarthy's quips in the latest issue of More magazine, on newsstands June 25.
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