Travel and accommodations provided by Warner Bros. Pictures.
You know how sometimes in life, a movie mimics your actual real life? Well, Melissa McCarthy's new movie, Life of the Party, kinda does that for me! I was sent on a secret set visit back in 2016 to meet the cast and get a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, and I am FINALLY about to talk about it!
ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…and she winds up in the same class and school as her daughter, who - not surprisingly - is not completely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna, now Dee Rock, embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected.
While I can't imagine going back to school after my sudden divorce, I can totally relate to being thrown into the brave new world of being single and finding yourself, your voice, and learning to live like a rock star!
Alongside McCarthy, the film also stars Gillian Jacobs (“Don’t Think Twice,” Netflix’s “Love,” TV’s “Community”), Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids,” “Sisters”), Julie Bowen (ABC’s “Modern Family”), Matt Walsh (HBO’s “Veep,” “Ghostbusters”), Molly Gordon (“Love the Coopers,” TNT’s “Animal Kingdom”), with Stephen Root (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”), and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Animal Kingdom”), Jessie Ennis (AMC’s “Better Call Saul”), Adria Arjona (HBO’s “True Detective,” NBC’s upcoming “Emerald City”), Debby Ryan (Disney Channel’s “Jessie”) and Jimmy O. Yang (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”).
When we visited the set back in 2016, we got a great look at what inspired the movie and all of their antics behind the scenes!
I don't think my divorce was even final yet when I visited this movie set, so of course I was really interested to know about the inspiration of the movie - especially because Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are clearly very happily married.
Melissa told us:
Ben really had the initial idea of going back to school. He grew up in a college town and has a real sweet spot for universities in general. And I really got stuck on the concept of–I feel like three or four times within a two week span, I’ve heard somebody go, we’re not really go out to dinner people. Or we’re really not movie people. Or we’re not really–and I thought these are people my age. And I was, like, you can’t say that. You’re not 105 years old. Stop saying that stuff…if I didn’t do it at 20, I can’t do it now. And that kind of spun us into this whole thing that you can redefine yourself. And I think especially as a woman, it fascinates me that we are immediately sometimes categorized that once you’re out of your 20s, you’re done with this and then you’re done. And I just kind of reject that.
I related to this personally on so many levels...Going through a divorce at 27 shook me to my core and it took me a while to figure out HOW to redefine myself. I finally realized through a period of serious self discovery (and a lot of partying), that I was not done. Life was not over for me! You know what, Melissa? I REJECT THAT TOO.
We also asked about Melissa's children's acting careers, as they actually have roles in The Life of the Party.
I would say you got to work really hard. I would make them start as a PA because they should know what the job is. They should know how much work. They should know what everybody does. I think that’s a biggie. I started as a PA. You’re the first ones there, last ones there. You’re the one that has to clean up, deal with all the trash. I mean, it’s just endless. But, you also get to learn what everybody actually does. How it gets made and how hard everybody works. I think that’s a biggie. And I would just say that if they really love it and if they work hard at it, I’d support them.
Melissa's thoughts on her mothering role for the actresses...
You know what? The joy of this has been that I didn’t know any of these young women coming in. They’re all new to me. And to watch them come in and not only become bizarrely close almost immediately, they just clicked. It was like that magical kind of thing you hope for when there’s no way to plan for that. And to see women, especially at such a young age, be so in their own shoes. They’re weird. They’re eccentric. They’ve got strange–very different sense of humors. Very different backgrounds. I think I really love seeing at that age that they’re just, like, oh, yes, I’m totally weird. Like, that’s okay.
LIFE OF THE PARTY Is Coming Out In Theaters May 11, mark your calendars!