LONDON: “Bridesmaids” star Melissa McCarthy may be best known for her comedy roles, but the actress said she is just as comfortable doing drama as she brought her movie “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” to the BFI London Film Festival on Friday.
The 48-year-old, also known for her impersonations of former White House spokesman Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live”, plays American biographer Lee Israel, who in the early 1990s started forging letters from prominent names, such as playwright Noel Coward, after her literary career ground to a halt.
McCarthy, who has also starred in television series “Gilmore Girls”, frumps up for the role and her portrayal of Israel as a prickly and unfriendly writer has been hailed by critics.
“I’ve probably done more drama than comedy in my span since I was 20 years old. I think I’m known more for comedy but to me it’s not different at all,” McCarthy told Reuters at the film’s London premiere.
“I prepare for a character the exact same way and I never really even think about if it’s drama (or) comedy, it just kind of hopefully will happen organically…a good story and portraying these kind of flawed complicated women is a gift.”
British actor Richard E. Grant co-stars in the film as Israel’s friend Jack Hock, who is HIV positive and who soon becomes her accomplice in selling the forged letters.
“He’s one of those people that lives hedonistically for the moment, in the day, because he doesn’t know how many more days he’s got left and that gives a kind of, sort of immediacy and poignancy to deal with,” he said.
“I had friends who died of AIDS in the early 90s around when this film was set so … you feel like you are honouring something that is only a historical blink away but is also of another time.”