TORONTO (Reuters) - Melissa McCarthy turns away from comedy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” transforming into a dowdy, cranky woman with disheveled hair and dull, shapeless clothes.
McCarthy, best known for raunchy 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids” and her “Saturday Night Live” impersonations of former White House spokesman Sean Spicer, plays Lee Israel, a crusty biographer-turned-literary forger.
“One of my favorite things is finding the character, the wardrobe, the make up, the hair,” McCarthy told reporters on the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday.
“It’s so much a part of what people are, and I think especially for Lee. I kept saying, she’s always cocooning herself and it’s our body armor,” she said.
The movie is based on Israel’s autobiography. It recounts her move into forging letters from famous authors and actors to make money after failing to sell her own books.
“Lee was in some ways bigger than life, so challenging and brilliant and incredibly funny and talented but also very difficult and prickly and unapologetic,” McCarthy said.
The role has brought McCarthy some of the best reviews of her career.
Asked how she felt about the reaction, the actress told Reuters, “I think it’s really exciting. It’s a little bit like having a baby.”
Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Daniel Wallis