Melissa McCarthy won't be able to add "Academy Award winner" to her resume just yet; the honor Sunday night went to Octavia Spencer for her role in "The Help."
But if getting to shine in the spotlight before an international crowd of millions is an honor in itself, the 41-year-old Plainfield native found herself in rarified company. And, frankly, the doors her breakout role as Megan in "Bridesmaids" have opened may be worth more than Oscar gold.
McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone just landed a sitcom deal in which Falcone will play the lead, McCarthy has a choice of movie roles in front of her, she's starting her own clothing line, and she's got a steady paycheck coming in (not to mention an Emmy Award) from her television role on It's a lot more than many actresses can brag.
Decked out in a mauve-colored custom gown with crystal-beaded collar and waistband by Marina Rinaldi, McCarthy told E! host Ryan Seacrest that designer Brian Atwood -- a Joliet native and friend of McCarthy's since high school -- made her handbag and shoes especially for her.
"He wrote (on the sole), To my best friend Melissa McCarthy, and then Oscars and the date," she said.
As for being at the Academy Awards, she admitted she was pinching herself.
On the way over all of a sudden I thought, I think we're going to the Oscars," McCarthy said. "It's so bananas to be here."
(To see McCarthy's interview with Seacrest, click here.)
Here's what McCarthy had to say to the Washington Post:
Melissa McCarthy turned her first visit to the Academy Awards into a family affair.
She was surrounded by her husband, parents and sister as she got ready for the big evening.
“My dad got choked up, then I got choked up, then my mom went, then my sister went,” she said. “My husband was like, ‘Separate!’ Because we all cried.”
During awards season McCarthy, nominated for supporting actress for “Bridesmaids,” has given frequent shoutouts to her hometown, the Chicago suburb of Plainfield, Ill.
“We cleaned the whole town out,” she said of taking her big family to Hollywood. “There’s nobody left tonight.”
Here's a portion of Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker's Oscars column in which he made McCarthy get "weepy":
SHOES VIA PLAINFIELD: Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy got a bit weepy on the red carpet — happy weepy — sharing a story about her shoes and handbag, “made for me by my longtime friend Brian Atwood.”
The noted accessories designer and McCarthy have been chums since high school — back when both planned careers in fashion. Atwood sent along a note attached to the bottom of the shoes, addressed to “my best friend, Melissa McCarthy.”
“I read it and I just started crying … and now I’m doing it again,” said McCarthy, laughing and wiping away a couple of tears.
McCarthy also said that she will soon launch her own clothing line. “After all, that’s what I studied in college. It’s been a little delayed — for obvious reasons,” the actress said with a chuckle.
† While getting prepped earlier Sunday, McCarthy joked with her stylist about her infamous “Bridesmaids” scene on the bathroom sink. “You know what?” she quipped. “I’m just shocked that I haven’t been approached by Kohler or some other plumbing company to be the spokeswoman for their line of toilets.”