Jan 21, 2019 ali Leave a Reply Making of ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’: How Melissa McCarthy Stepped In for Julianne Moore

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Melissa and director Marielle Heller about her taking the place of Julianne Moore in the film Can You Ever Forgive Me? and what it took to make the film!

After Moore walked away from playing the literary forger over unexplained creative differences, director Marielle Heller found hope with fan McCarthy: “There wasn’t much money lying around for financing a movie about an angry 50-year-old woman.”

Marielle Heller was in her therapist’s office on New York’s Upper West Side, talking about a new directing gig she’d just landed, when she noticed her shrink started looking a little funny. As Heller explained the film’s plot — about a real-life down-on-her-luck New York writer in the 1990s, who bailed herself out of financial straits by forging letters from famous dead authors like Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker, her therapist suddenly stiffened in her chair.

“Not Lee Israel?” she asked Heller. “She lived in this building. You do not want to know what I thought of Lee Israel. She was not a nice person.”

Small world. But nice or not, the role of Lee Israel could just be a career changer for Melissa McCarthy, transforming the 48-year-old Bridesmaids breakout (and onetime Sean Spicer impersonator) into an award-winning dramatic film actress. McCarthy’s bitchy, boozy performance already has earned her a Golden Globe nom for best actress in a drama and may even land her an Oscar nomination. “I feel kind of personally responsible for getting her story out there,” says McCarthy. “Lee had such talent and was suddenly told because of her personality that she was obsolete. I can’t say what any of us would do when pushed into that kind of dire circumstance.”

The film is based on Israel’s 2008 memoir in which she details how she went from being a promising magazine journalist in the 1960s (profiling stars like Katharine Hepburn for Esquire) to a successful biographer (a 1980 best-seller about famed journalist and What’s My Line? panelist Dorothy Kilgallen) to a less successful one (a 1985 bio of Estee Lauder that flopped) to a bitter, unemployable drunk who paid her cat’s veterinarian bills by forging notes from dead stars like Fanny Brice and selling them to vintage bookstores. The memoir stirred up a bit of controversy when it was published, with some critics questioning why Simon & Schuster would help Israel profit further from her crimes, but it was otherwise mostly well-received.

One big fan of Israel’s tell-all was producer Anne Carey, a fixture on the New York indie film scene whose recent credits include Mr. Holmes. Carey thought the book would make a terrific movie and set up a 2008 meeting with Israel at a Chelsea restaurant. “She was super smart, wickedly funny and bitter in an interesting way,” Carey says of Israel, who died at age 75 in 2014. “She had such a specific, clear voice about being a New Yorker, about being a writer, about working in the publishing industry, about drinking and about mischief.”

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Jan 21, 2019 ali Leave a Reply Melissa McCarthy Online is Launched!
Site Jan 21, 2019 ali Leave a Reply

I am so excited to launch Melissa McCarthy Online and share it with the world. I have been a fan of Melissa’s since I first fell in love with her as Sookie St. James and have continued to enjoy watching her as she has grown as an actress and become more known through her work in Bridesmaids, Mike & Molly, Ghostbusters, and more.

This site is a work in progress and will be growing as I continue to add to it. If you have any contributions or insight please be sure to let me know!

A giant thank you to Claudia from Never Enough Design for sharing her talents on our themes here at Melissa McCarthy Online!

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