Melissa McCarthy has the perfect response to cruel trolls who pick her apart online. The comedian-actress sends them positivity in return.
Lead With Love
The 47-year-old star of comedy flick Life of the Party has dealt with a considerable amount of online abuse over the course of her lengthy career. However, when faced with hate, she responds with love.
McCarthy got a particularly rough dose of it when she took part in the lively, all-female 2016 Ghostbusters reboot from frequent collaborator Paul Feig.
She starred alongside fellow funny ladies Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. The four women came under fire from angry male fans who were dismayed that their beloved childhood property was being besmirched by horrid women.
In conversation with PEOPLE, McCarthy revealed that she doesn't let such abuse get to her. In fact, she roots for the perpetrators to find real happiness and contentment in life.
"Weirdly, instead of getting mad at them, I always feel like, 'Oh, I hope you meet someone soon that you can talk to, someone that really makes you laugh. I just root for that person to find a little joy," she explained.
The comedienne argued that getting mad or upset doesn't help matters. By letting it go and focusing on the good men in her life, she finds it easier to deal with the negativity.
"... At one point I just said, 'I'm not going to wallow in this anymore.' It's not my reality -- the men I know wouldn't act like this. So I look to the men I know, who have made my life better, and I just keep remembering that they're the norm," she revealed.
School's Back In Session
In Life of the Party, McCarthy plays the role of a middle-aged mother who follows her teenage daughter, played by Molly Gordon, to college so she can regain her own sense of self and a zest for life after being dumped by her longtime husband.
McCarthy, who has two daughters of her own, 11-year-old Vivian and 8-year-old Georgette, with husband and filmmaker Ben Falcone, hopes she can encourage her own girls to stay strong in the face of heavy criticism.
"It's the same thing I tell my girls, 'If somebody is being mean, they're probably really not happy," she said.
The comedy flick hits theaters on Friday, May 11. It features a diverse cast of young actresses including Gordon, Debby Ryan, Gillian Jacobs, and Jessie Ennis. McCarthy, a staunch feminist, wasn't worried about working alongside such young, beautiful women.
The comedian shared that she saw it as a good thing because the amount of youthful energy on set made it a happy, joyful experience for everybody involved.
Life Imitating Art
In fact, McCarthy had such a great experience on set. She now feels less stressed out about her own daughters growing up and heading off to college without her.
She explained that the women in question are so strong, professional, and filled with joy that it makes them a force of nature. As a result, the Life of the Party star is excited for Vivian and Georgette to get older and find the same support system themselves.
McCarthy did admit, however, that she still worries about them actually growing up and leaving the nest for real, to the extent that the premise of the flick didn't seem that outlandish to her at first.
Falcone, who directed and with whom the comedian co-wrote the script, initially came up with the idea, only for McCarthy to fail to recognize why going to college with her kids would be such a bad idea.
Hopefully, when the time comes, she will be able to hold herself back from recreating Life of the Party in real life.