Hearing Ben Falcone talk about his wife Melissa McCarthy is enough to make even the most broken hearted believe in love again.
The writer and director has now overseen McCarthy’s recent performances in “Tammy” and “The Boss,” and the love for his creative and life partner shines through whenever her name is merely mentioned.
Their latest project, the comedy “Life of the Party” in theaters May 11, features a couple who’s less blissfully married. In fact, it’s all about McCarthy’s character Deanna starting her life over by going back to college — the same one her daughter is attending, unfortunately — when her husband suddenly ends their relationship.
But let’s get back to the good stuff. The two collaborate on every aspect of their projects, including writing the script.
“We usually like to write together and be in the same room because she makes me laugh so much,” he says about their creative process. “We feel like that’s the best way to do it. As parents and people with a busy career these days, it’s just time we get together and try to make each other laugh. And it’s just very natural. It’s an absolute blessing and we are so grateful.”
Of course, we had to ask how they met. The two found each other at a Groundlings show, an improv and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles. Falcone remembers the evening like it was yesterday: “She sat to my right. She was smiling and laughing about something. And I immediately felt that she should be my friend.”
So. Cute. And it only got cuter when Falcone described their collaborative process during filming, when is directing and she is the star.
While he might come into a scene with an idea of how he wants it to play out, he’s conscious that asking an actor to give a performance that’s not what they want to do, it doesn’t turn out very well. “Comedy is democracy. If it doesn’t make people laugh then it isn’t funny,” he says.
“Melissa knows that; she has such a good eye with everything. So, smartly, she likes to do things in as many different ways as possible so that we have different things to try when we are editing. She’s a dream to work with in every way.”
Two people having this much fun on set also like to work with people who bring the same positive energy. “We really try to cast people that are just really nice folks, too, who are nice to try the process,” he says. “Hopefully, the word is out that me and Melissa are fun to work with. We try to find fun people and just have a little party of our own.”