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Melissa McCarthy Shares What Her Parents Taught Her As A Child That Led To Her Success

SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: Actress Melissa McCarthy speaks to the media during the record-setting Ghostbusters red carpet event at The Event Plaza at Marina Bay Sands on June 12, 2016 in Singapore. Ghostbusters fans set a new Guinness World Records title for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Ghosts at a Single Venue. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

I think I would have been probably cuckoo [if I’d been successful] at 18. I think the best thing I could have done was struggle until I was 30.Actress and comedienne Melissa McCarthy, star of such movies as the all-female Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids, and her latest, Life of the Party, shared words of wisdom she received from her parents when she was young.

Speaking with People Magazine, McCarthy distinctly remembers three words that changed her life forever and that she claims ultimately drove her to success.

‘Why not you?’ is an unbelievably great sentiment to give to a kid. Not entitlement but instead: Work your butt off, and you have a decent chance at this. ‘Why not you?’ is an undervalued way of thinking.

Acting is a tough as nails career path, and requires levels of dedication and tenacity that only a very select group of people can muster. McCarthy explained that as a child, her parents encouraged her to work hard, rather than praising her talents, in order to help her reach her goals.

When I wanted to do something, they didn’t say, ‘You can do anything, you’re perfect!’ Instead they said, ‘Well, if you work really hard, you’ve got as good a chance as anybody else.’ At every step in my journey, without my parents saying, ‘Why not? Keep your head on your shoulders and keep going ,’ I don’t know that I would have made it.

The actress also recalled how her mother never cared about other peoples’ opinions. Instead, she was encouraged to just be proud of who she was.

The words ‘I hope this looks okay’ never came out of her mouth. If there was something that annoyed her, I didn’t hear about it. She didn’t give it time on her calendar. But in a really positive way, not in a ball-busting, ‘Screw the world!’ sort of way. She just didn’t give it time. She’s really solid in her shoes—she wishes people well and then keeps on moving. Watching that as an example is one of the greatest gifts I got from her.

Because of this encouragement, McCarthy said, she doesn’t worry about tabloid headlines or what her haters have to say. She finds her joy in her kids and her crazy pets, and finds time to laugh every day.

My kids do the craziest things, and my dogs are weird. My husband makes me gut-laugh every day. So, you know, I love my life right now. I laugh all day long. Maybe I’m just living in a bubble, but it’s a pretty great bubble, if you ask me!

In another interview with Glamour, McCarthy said that struggling until she was thirty played a pivotal role in finding her place and becoming a successful performer.

I think I would have been probably cuckoo [if I’d been successful] at 18. I think the best thing I could have done was struggle until I was 30.


Written by Brandon Gage

Hey I'm Brandon, and I'm about to refer to myself in the third person. Since moving to New York in 2011, he has worked as a real estate broker, nightlife promoter, and bartender. Brandon, 30, has never had a cavity nor has he ever broken a bone. In 2015, this devastatingly handsome yet respectably humble man-child was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis. It has left him medically disabled. Silver lining: he can direct those in need to the best bathrooms in New York. Brandon is a politics junkie and ruins everyone's news-feed on a daily basis. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. When he isn't whining about President Trump or trapped in the bathroom looking at twinks on Instagram, Brandon likes to run, workout, travel, and go clubbing. His cat and sidekick Cosmo (pictured), has his own Instagram @kweencosmo.