A Minute With: Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone on comedy and cars

Wed Jul 2, 2014 9:59am EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

BEVERLY HILLS Calif. (Reuters) - Comedian Melissa McCarthy and her husband and writing partner Ben Falcone team up for the first time behind and in front of the camera in "Tammy," a Midwestern road-trip comedy about a woman's desire to start over.

The Warner Bros. film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, is Falcone's directorial debut and stars McCarthy as an endearing buffoon character alongside Susan Sarandon as her boozing, man-chasing grandmother.

McCarthy, 43, and Falcone, 40, who have been married for a decade, spoke to Reuters about being small-town Midwesterners in Hollywood, their writing process and why the creative spark often occurs while driving a car.

Q: Do you have a method or formula for working together?

Falcone: First of all, whenever we have good ideas, it's almost always in the car because you drive a lot in L.A. ... And you just say stupid things to make your spouse laugh, and that's usually when we come up with something that's maybe fun.

So that's our idea place. And then the best way that we write is when we both are sitting there, there's a computer, we start writing, and we trade off typing.

McCarthy: I'll do a bunch of dialogue, and then he'll say we're not doing that yet. And I'll be like, "Yeah, but I think this is what I say." And so we'll type that out and keep all that stuff further down the script until we're ready for that scene because I'm a little more scattered.

Q: Do you record your conversations while driving, or can you both remember the details?   Continued...

Cast member Melissa McCarthy poses at the premiere of "Tammy" at the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni