Now one of the most recognizable stars in Hollywood, Melissa McCarthy remembers very clearly what it was like when no one knew who she was.
Way before "Bridesmaids" and "Spy," McCarthy made her feature-film debut in the 1999 action-comedy "Go," about a drug deal gone awry. McCarthy had a very minor but memorable role in a short scene with "Go" stars Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf.
"It was in the middle of the night downtown and I ran around and did about 672 actions," Melissa McCarthy told Business Insider recently of shooting "Go." "And the script supervisor said, 'Honey, are you able to match that?' And I said, 'What does that mean?' And I realized... I can't."
Matching refers to the ability of an actor to reenact their movements and their eyeline so that different takes of a scene can be matched up in the editing room.
"Well, I felt like a nobody. That was the first time I ever did anything. I didn't know you were supposed to match," McCarthy said.
She may not have known everything about what she was doing, but she pulled off the moment in "Go" well, with some of the same comedic tics she'd become known for around the world soon enough.
She channels that feeling as an executive producer on "Nobodies," the new TV Land comedy series based on the experiences of McCarthy's fellow Groundings alumni — Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras — and their attempts to get her to back their movie project. In reality, that movie ended up morphing into the TV show.
It's a family affair all around. McCarthy's husband, actor Ben Falcone, and former "MADtv" star Michael McDonald — both Groundlings alumni as well — also executive produce "Nobodies."
"There's a comfort level there," McCarthy, who makes cameos on the show, said of working with her longtime friends. "We already know how funny they are. And then Hugh, Larry, and Rachel really have been writing together. It's really incredibly, bizarrely autobiographical. They are the butts and topics of their own jokes."
But even if your dream isn't making it in Hollywood, McCarthy believes that you can relate to "Nobodies," which premieres on Wednesday at 10 p.m and has already been renewed by TV Land for a second season.
"I don't think you have to know the ins and outs of the particular business to know the feeling of being a nobody," she told us. "Everybody knows that feeling of like, ugh, I'm not quite there."
Watch a trailer for "Nobodies" below:
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