Kathy Bates Discusses Role in New Movie ‘Tammy’By: Brian Powell - July 2, 2014
Today, Melissa McCarthy’s newest movie, Tammy, hits the big screens. Tammy marks the screenwriting debut of McCarthy, best known for her role in 2011’s The Bridesmaids, and the directorial debut of Ben Falcone, McCarthy’s husband and frequent co-actor. While McCarthy could have used this opportunity to secure her potential as a lead actress in a major-motion film without the aid of a strong supporting cast, she chose to do just the opposite, loading the movie with a plethora of famous co-stars including Susan Sarandon, Dan Akroyd, Susan Oh, and Kathy Bates.
While many may not have pegged Bates for a slapstick comedy such as Tammy, McCarthy and Falcone had envisioned Bates in the role from the beginning. In speaking about one of the scenes on a dock near the end of the movie, McCarthy stated, “It’s a scene we wrote for Kathy Bates, dreamed of her doing, she’s actually here doing it and now she’s summoned all of her power, which is a lot. It was a palpable, amazing feeling. It felt like a lightning bolt ripping through my chest.”
For Bates, choosing to star in the movie was a no-brainer. “The main reason for doing it was Melissa McCarthy. I had seen her in ‘Bridesmaids,’ and I wish I could be as clever, wonderful and physical in comedy as she is. I wanted to get to know her — I really wanted to understand her secret. I wondered, ‘How can she stay so real yet push the envelope the way she does, physically and comedically?'”
Fortunately, Bates was given multiple avenues through which to push the envelope while playing a molotov cocktail-throwing lesbian friend to McCarthy’s character, Tammy.
“That [throwing a molotov cocktail] was really a blast, I have to say. I held one a little too long and it exploded in my hand. It was sugar glass, so you really had to throw it quickly once the end of the cloth was lit… It was fun to blow up s— or pretend that you were blowing up s— and not be arrested,” recalled Bates.
Unfortunately for Bates and company, however, Tammy opens to harsh reviews from the critics. While some find the film too sappy towards the end, others feel the movie simply fails to be funny and relies too heavily on the same tropes McCarthy has portrayed time after time.
If there is one bright spot, however, it is the relationship portrayed between Bates and Susan Oh, a relationship Bates tried to portray as accurately as possible: “It was important for me to be able to ad-lib how difficult it is, or was, especially 20, 25 years ago, for lesbian women to come out. I think almost more difficult than for men to come out as gay.”
So, if you’re hankering for some Kathy Bates in your life, sit this one out and simply wait for American Horror Story to start back up this fall.
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