Kathy Bates Likens Melissa McCarthy to Lucille Ball

Pam WrightLife

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Kathy Bates has been around the Hollywood scene for some time and has seen actresses come and go. But she sees something very different and unique about her Tammy co-star Melissa McCarthy. The well-respected actress had some very flattering things to say about McCarthy, even comparing the Bridesmaids star to comedic genius Lucille Ball.

The Oscar-winning actress recently told Tim Lammers that her main impetus for joining the Tammy cast was McCarthy.

"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," Bates said. "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?'"

Bates gave McCarthy the ultimate compliment in comparing The Heat actress to Ball.

"I can see a comparison in her and Lucille Ball in the way Melissa fearlessly goes places that a lot of actresses wouldn't go," Bates said. "She's nimble, quick and fearless. "

The 66-year-old actress portrays Lenore, a first cousin, twice removed to Tammy (McCarthy) in the film, which was co-written and produced by McCarthy.

Bates conceded that even though McCarthy pushed the comedic limits of everyone involved, she still could not muster the same talent it takes to enter the ranks of the Bridesmaids star.

"It was wonderful to pretend for a while that you can be as funny as she is," Bates said, laughing. "When we were all doing our improv scenes for the film, we were just shameless trying to be as good as Melissa because she raises the bar -- but of course, we fell short."

The film tells the story of Tammy, a fast-food worker who is having a really bad day and the fallout from that day. Allison Janney and Susan Sarandon star as Tammy's mother and grandmother, and Sandra Oh plays Lenore's girlfriend.

McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, directs the film and stars as Tammy's boss. The couple married in 2005 and have two daughters together.

Image via Twitter, Kathy Bates

Pam Wright