With a whopping net worth of over $80 million, a nearly 15-year marriage, and two happy daughters, Melissa McCarthy — who celebrated her 50th birthday on August 26 — is riding high.
But the actress is the first to admit that achieving success didn’t come without obstacles. “Melissa’s philosophy is always, if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger, and that’s the way she looks at her life,” explains a source.
“She had a lonely childhood growing up on a farm in Illinois and was so broke when she moved to New York to pursue acting that she had to beg her parents for rent money — but she never gave up.”
Before heading to the Big Apple, the star first moved to L.A. in the late ’90s.
But her lack of funds — at one point, she admitted, her bank account balance “was under 5 dollars” — and the abundance of skinny, gorgeous women around her wrecked her ego.
“In my 20s I used to cry about why I wasn’t thinner or prettier,” she recalled. “I was an idiot … It’s a decade of tears.”
Eventually, Melissa learned to love herself, and that boost in confidence led to a streak of showbiz successes, including a role in Gilmore Girls, an Emmy trophy for Mike & Molly, and an Oscar nom for her scene-stealing part in 2011’s Bridesmaids.
Since then, her star power has continued to grow, but the source insists Melissa’s as down-to-earth as ever.
“She’s one of the most unaffected people in Hollywood, and she keeps it real for her kids too,” shares the source, adding that she loves nothing more than staying at home with her filmmaker husband, Ben Falcone, 46, and their daughters, Vivian, 13, and Georgette, 10.
“She doesn’t buy her girls designer clothes or fancy toys. They shop at Target, and she uses coupons at the supermarket too. She’s still frugal despite the fact that she pulls in $12 million a movie.”
“It can all go away as fast as it came,” the star shared of why she gives “500 percent to everything” she does in life.
The Can You Ever Forgive Me? star also wants her kids to learn from her mistakes. “She’s taught her girls to be strong and believe in themselves, do well in school and enjoy life,” the source says.
“And if someone has something negative to say, feel sorry for them!”