One morning Ben Falcone woke up and immediately recounted to his wife — Bridesmaids actress and Rolling Stone cover star Melissa McCarthy — his dream about a down-on-her-luck burger flipper who gets caught in a road trip from hell with her rebellious grandmother. Six years later, the couple are walking hand in hand down the red carpet at the premiere event for Tammy, a movie based on that very dream, at the Landmark Sunshine Theater in downtown New York. She’s now a bona fide movie star; he’s making his directorial debut with this story of a very unladylike loser. To say that a lot has changed for the couple since that first morning is a huge understatement.
Rolling Stone was there to celebrate with them, and this is what we learned:
They wrote the plot for Tammy on napkins.
After Ben had the initial idea for the film in a dream, he and Melissa set about turning it into an actual script. It was the first one that they wrote together, and moments of inspiration would hit them at the most inopportune of times. “We get most of our best ideas in the car,” Falcone says, adding that they have since remedied the situation. “Now we keep writing paper in the car for all our great ideas.”
Paper bags with holes cut into them can be super funny.
Susan Sarandon, who plays Tammy’s grandmother Pearl, admitted that though the cast featured some of the most talented improvisational actors working today, it was the most ridiculous prop that had the set constantly in stitches. “There’s a scene where we’re both wearing paper bags with eyes and a mouth cut out,” Susan explained. “For some reason, I had this instinct to just put my bag right up against hers so that we were looking right at each other through these little cut out holes. We were wrecks after that. I ruined so many takes.”
Melissa is a very humble Rolling Stone cover star.
“I kept thinking that it’s going to be one of those amusement park tricks where it’s just a mirror that shows whoever’s face is looking at it, but then I move and realize, “Oh wait, it’s real!'” McCarthy laughed. Ben conceded that they have since stopped at multiple newsstands to verify the authenticity of the magazine. “I’m just so proud of her. She looks amazing on it,” he said.
Susan Sarandon can still get down.
Following the screening the cast and guests went to the nearby Sons Of Essex where Susan took over a table and was joined by friend and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. There, in front of the DJ booth, Susan danced late into the night and effectively dashed any ideas that she’s a “grandmother type” at all.
They are already working on their next script together.
Their next project together is called Michelle Darnell. They are writing it along with Steve Mallory, and Ben is set to direct again. The casting, however, is starting to get a little out of hand. “She’s trying to write about 70 main roles into the film so that she gets to work with all of her friends,” Ben explained. Who is she trying to write in? Jason Bateman. Kristin Wigg. Sandra Bullock. That doesn’t sound so bad.