Melissa McCarthy makes surprise “RuPaul's Drag Race” appearance, says her career 'started in drag'

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"It literally gave me the courage to get up on stage," McCarthy told the "Drag Race" season 16 queens — between throwing cheese at them, of course.

RuPaul's Drag Race just welcomed a queen of comedy to set — mostly to throw cheese at the season 16 cast.

In a rare move, the reality competition series hosted a previously unannounced A-list guest spot on Friday night's episode when it welcomed Oscar-nominated actress Melissa McCarthy to the Main Stage to help Hollywood director-choreographer Adam Shankman coach the cast through dance moves for their Rusical challenge.

Shankman briefly paused the group's rehearsals to bring his "assistant" to set, with McCarthy entering from backstage while carrying several bags and drink holders. "We all know we all need a side hustle, ladies," the Bridesmaids and The Little Mermaid star quipped as the queens gagged with excitement over her unexpected cameo.

McCarthy — clad in a black jacket with pro-LGBTQIA+ patches on it, including several rainbows and messages stressing that "love is love," to "choose happy," and to vote.

Halfway through her brief stint on the show, McCarthy posed an open question to the contestants: "Does anybody want a Babybel?" she asked, tossing the morsels of cheese into the air — one of which was caught by Morphine Love Dion, who let the end of the treat hang out of her mouth. "Cheese? Really?" Xunami Muse asked.

Before she left, McCarthy teared up as she delivered a few powerful words of encouragement to the cast, including a short reflection on her own life as a performer and how drag inspired her career in entertainment.

<p>MTV</p> Melissa McCarthy on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16


Melissa McCarthy on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16

"I just adore you all, I adore what you do. Drag is a big part of why I have a career. I was going to drag shows when I shouldn't have been, and it literally gave me the courage to get up on stage. I started in drag, I started in a big old red wig called Miss Y," the 53-year-old told the cast, who also got emotional over her words. "So, when I look at you fighting to carve out your space, it makes me so proud, and I just want to thank you for it and root for you. You're all gorgeous ladies, and I just love you. Just keep doing what you're doing; it's not only wildly entertaining and it brings joy, it's important. Fight for it, because it's worth it."

Later, in a confessional, New York City queen Dawn praised McCarthy for speaking to the cast with such genuine emotion.

"Listening to Melissa McCarthy talk about drag and even get a little choked up talking to us about it, makes me realize how significant it is to even be here," she said.

McCarthy has long been open about her affinity for drag — particularly during the press tour for her 2023 appearance as Ursula in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

In an interview with EW, the star reflected on taking on the part of the iconic villain who was inspired by famed drag queen Divine in the original 1989 animated movie.

Disney; Tom Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Melissa McCarthy as Ursula in 'The LIttle Mermaid'; Divine
Disney; Tom Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Melissa McCarthy as Ursula in 'The LIttle Mermaid'; Divine

"I'm a huge, huge fan of drag shows and the whole art of it and the entertainment of it," she explained. "I've been going to shows since I was not supposed to be going to shows. There's a drag queen that lives in me. I'm always right on the verge of going full-time with her."

McCarthy is the latest in a growing roster of A-list actresses who've guest-starred on Drag Race season 16, with Oscar-winning performer Charlize Theron fronting the season premiere, followed several weeks later by Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar.

RuPaul's Drag Race continues Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

Subscribe to EW's Quick Drag podcast for recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including reactions from the cast, special guests, and more.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.