Melissa McCarthy Recalls 'Volatile, Hostile' Workplace That Made Her ‘Physically Ill’

·3-min read

The actress opened up in a new interview about a "volatile, hostile" on-set experience — and how she learned from it

<p>Brendon Thorne/Getty</p>

Brendon Thorne/Getty

Melissa McCarthy is remembering a less-than-pleasant time she had while on a set — and the inspiration it gave her to start her own production company.

Speaking to The Observer about her and her husband Ben Falcone’s approach to who they hire at their production company, On the Day, McCarthy, 52, revealed how the negative experience motivated her to run her company a certain way.

“I did work for someone once who ran such a volatile, hostile set that it made me physically ill,” she recalled to the outlet, though she did not specify what project she was referring to. “My eyes were swelling up, I was absorbing all of this nuttiness.”

She said that the “someone” running the unnamed set was able to keep her in line, despite her opposition to the behavior, through “manipulation.”

“There were people weeping, visibly so upset by this one person," she said. "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.”

When McCarthy spoke out against the hostility, she said she never looked back: “I know now I’ll never keep quiet again.”

Related: Melissa McCarthy Supports Inclusivity with Powerful Message: 'We Need It. We Crave it' (Exclusive)

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty</p>

Jesse Grant/Getty

Now, when it comes to her projects with Falcone, 49, they conduct a “crazy check” for new hires. She told The Observer that she and her husband “demand” kindness on their sets.

“You know, we were so astounded and grateful at getting to build our own little worlds, we were like, ‘We have to build the one we’ve always talked about, where everybody gets to have an opinion and everyone is really nice,' " she said.

McCarthy added that they both knew, from previous experience, that things would “run a lot better with no screamers or crazy egos bumbling around.”

Related: Melissa McCarthy Calls Playing Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid' a 'Fever Dream' (Exclusive)

One film she loved making was 2011’s Bridesmaids.

"I would do a Bridesmaids sequel this afternoon, right now," she told PEOPLE for this year’s Beautiful Issue. “That group of women was the most magical thing ever. Almost all of us were really good friends already. I think it was such a magical time."

She recalled the “terribly unprofessional” set where “anyone who wasn't on-camera was usually bent over and just shaking” with laughter.

“Just being around that many funny people where truly it was like people dropping to the ground because we couldn't get air in," she said. "From a distance, it must have looked like we all had food poisoning because there was just times where we'd be like... You can't be around that group of humans and not just be beside yourself."

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McCarthy's new film, The Little Mermaid, hits theaters May 26.

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