"My eyes were swelling up. I was absorbing all of this nuttiness."
Now more than ever before, stars are getting real about their past experiences on set. Yes, we all know about what happened with Ellen Degeneres's show and then the world was shocked when accusations of a hostile work environment brought Kelly Clarkson's team into the fray, but the latest celebrity to open up about problematic work environments is Melissa McCarthy. In a new interview with The Guardian, she described a situation (without naming names, of course) that was so bad that it made her sick.
“I did work for someone once who ran such a volatile, hostile set that it made me physically ill,” she said. “My eyes were swelling up. I was absorbing all of this nuttiness.”
She went on to describe the situation, but steered clear of pointing fingers at any specific person.
“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.”
In the end, McCarthy said that in order to endure the entire ordeal, she had to stand up for herself and her cast mates.
“One day, I was like, ‘It stops today!’” she finished. “I just kept saying to them, it stops, it stops. And I know now I’ll never keep quiet again.”
It's clear that things have changed for the actress. Recently, McCarthy’s Little Mermaid co-star Halle Bailey told CNN that McCarthy played a key role off-screen, teaching her how to “speak up and [say] what works for [her]” on set. “She was telling me, ‘Yeah, I had to learn. I wasn’t always this way, and when you’re young, you’re timid,’” Bailey said.
And even though she's willing to talk about her terrible time on that project, McCarthy assured fans that there's almost nothing that can stop her from doing what she loves: making movies and making people laugh.
“Comedy allows you to sit next to somebody whose ideas don’t match up. And maybe you come out a little closer,” she concluded. “I think that’s what I’m supposed to be doing in this world.”
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