Hollywood star Melissa McCarthy has heaped praise on Irish people and said she can relate to their ‘scrappiness’.
The Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters star has Irish heritage as her grandparents come from Co Cork.
She said that her heritage is so strong that when she and her siblings were growing up they considered themselves to be Irish.
McCarthy told the Irish Sun: “There’s a scrappiness to the Irish that I can very much relate to. It’s a kind of working class, not afraid to get your hands dirty, take care of a situation kind of thing.
“Being Irish means being self-sufficient and doing whatever is needed. My Dad’s friends in Chicago were all Irish and we grew up thinking of ourselves as Irish.”
The 49-year-old says that her Irish heritage has helped her get into character for her role in the gangster movie The Kitchen.
The film is set in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s and sees McCarthy play a gangster’s moll named Kathy.
When Kathy’s husband is jailed, she takes over his criminal enterprise.
McCarthy said: “I think even for Kathy, who thinks she is in a good relationship and has a good life, there is still an underlying sense that she could have done more but was never given the chance.
“And with that is the idea that undervalued, unseen people will eventually rise up.
“That’s a really intriguing theme for me and it was interesting to watch that happen with this group of women, these characters.”
The Kitchen has three female leads and a female director and while this is a sign of progress in terms of women getting more prominent roles, McCarthy hopes that in the future this wouldn’t even be noteworthy.
She said: “Yes, it has three female leads and is directed by a woman. I think that’s all overdue. But I never want to make that the story.
“I think the story is that a really incredible writer has become a director and is seeing her vision through all the way.
“We also have many women working in key positions here, but hopefully, someday, that won’t be such an anomaly.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling