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What 'Hostile, Volatile' Set Was So Toxic It Made Melissa McCarthy 'Physically Ill'?

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | May 22, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | May 22, 2023 |


In an interview with The Observer, Melissa McCarthy — set to appear as Ursula in the live-action The Little Mermaid, out this weekend — said that she and her husband and frequent collaborator, Ben Falcone, will do a “crazy check” before they hire anyone to work on their films. They only hire “nice people,” and they insist on kindness on the set. “It’s going to run a lot better with no screamers or crazy egos bumbling around,” she said. “Why would we risk destroying that?”

From the way McCarthy tells it, she’s had experience on a bad set before, as she told the publication.

“I did work for someone once who ran such a volatile, hostile set that it made me physically ill. My eyes were swelling up, I was absorbing all of this nuttiness …. There were people weeping, visibly so upset by this one person. And I think that’s why the manipulation worked, because to get to me, this person would fire people I loved, which kept me quiet. It was very effective. Then one day, I was like, ‘It stops today!’ I just kept saying to them, it stops, it stops. And I know now I’ll never keep quiet again.”

Because I am a person who loves gossip and can’t help myself, I was determined to figure out the set about which she was talking. It took some time (and some help from one of our favorite former colleagues), but I think we might have figured out the “allegedly” awful person. It’s easy to rule out most of McCarthy’s film and TV work because she so often works with the same people, namely her husband Ben Falcone and director Paul Feig. That accounts for most of her work since she’s become well-known enough to have “friends” on the set that could be threatened with termination. She’s also worked with Theodore Melfi on two films, which rules out The Starling and St. Vincent. We are going to preemptively rule out Brian Henson on the set of The Happytime Murders because he’s Brian Henson, and Marielle Heller, the director of Can You Ever Forgive Me? who also directed the Fred Rogers movie with Tom Hanks, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Seth Gordon (Identity Thief) doesn’t seem to work either: He has worked with Jason Bateman multiple times, and Bateman and McCarthy are close.

Could it have been Amy Sherman Palladino on Gilmore Girls? Probably not. McCarthy did return for a cameo in the Gilmore Girls reboot, and my cursory Internet sleuthing did not turn up anything toxic on Amy Sherman-Palladino, save for some people on Reddit who really hate her hats.

There is, however, one long-running television sitcom that did not immediately register. McCarthy worked on Mike and Molly for six seasons. Interestingly, the show’s creator and showrunner, Mark Roberts, left the series after three seasons. That was in 2013. He has not worked in film or television since.

Could it have been Roberts? Possibly! We will never know, although I will leave our readers with this, in Deadline, reporting on Roberts exiting Mike & Molly. He left to “focus on other projects” — of which there are none to speak of on IMDb — and “the studio would not comment on the reasons for the change; however, there has been speculation for months that the show’s cast and crew were not happy with Roberts.”

“Then one day, I was like, ‘It stops today!’ I just kept saying to them, it stops, it stops.”

Source: The Observer, Hat Tip: RH