The Surprising Actress Who Almost Played Melissa McCarthy’s Role In Bridesmaids
“Bridesmaids” turned 10 in 2021, and Paul Feig’s boundary-breaking comedy movie, which was scripted by star Kristen Wiig and her longtime buddy Annie Mumolo — who memorably cameos as the nervous lady on their flight who had a dream with Wiig’s Annie in it (via YouTube) — has not aged a day. The legacy of “Bridesmaids” is keenly felt by women all over the world. It broke the mold for actresses being gross onscreen (the horror!), while reiterating just how special female friendship is. Wiig and Mumolo were rightfully nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their work (via IMDb). More surprisingly, however, Melissa McCarthy was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the boisterous and utterly self-confident Megan.
Although Wiig and Maya Rudolph are ostensibly the leads of the film, McCarthy’s performance is the one most fans come back to again and again. Whether she’s charming Air Marshall John (played by the actress’s real-life husband, Ben Falcone) or demanding nobody watch her pooping in a sink, Megan is impossible to ignore — hence why the Academy broke their staunch no comedy rule and nominated McCarthy. It’s impossible to imagine anybody else inhabiting the role like she does, but there was actually another well-known comedic actress in the running for Megan, too.
Somebody else almost destroyed that sink
In an interview with Celebuzz, none other than Busy Philipps — of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Cougar Town” fame — revealed she was once considered to play Megan in “Bridesmaids.” The actress appeared in director Paul Feig’s beloved, but short-lived teen series, “Freaks and Geeks,” so she naturally ended up auditioning when “Bridesmaids” rolled around. Philipps recalled, “The part wasn’t defined necessarily as one thing [when I auditioned]. I was doing a very specific take on it, and they really liked it. But I think, ultimately, Miss McCarthy is perfect in that movie.” The one-time talk show host was understandably disappointed not to be a part of such a successful movie, but she loves everybody involved and, in particular, hopes to work with Feig again in the future.
In a tenth anniversary chat with Insider, the prolific director revealed Megan was the character most actresses wanted to read for. Aside from Philipps, Rebel Wilson, who ended up in the movie as Kristen Wiig’s horrible roommate, Brynn — who reads her diary after mistaking it for a “very sad, handwritten book” (via YouTube) — also went up for the role. As Feig explained, “though we felt everybody was great, we hadn’t found that person who cracked it 100%. It was one of our last casting sessions when Kristen and Annie said, ‘Oh, you should bring in our friend Melissa.'” Naturally, McCarthy nailed the audition after being “super aggressive to the person reading Annie” and the trio knew instantly they’d found their Megan.
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