Danielle Levitt—August
April 19, 2016

I had never seen Melissa McCarthy before she auditioned for Bridesmaids. She came in toward the end of the casting process, and at first I couldn’t even tell if what she was doing was funny because it was so different from what any other actor had done. But within about 15 seconds, I found myself laughing hysterically while marveling at the inventiveness I was witnessing. And this has been my experience with her for the past five years.

I’ve been lucky enough to do four movies with Melissa, and each time she never ceases to surprise and amaze me. She finds reality and heart inside every character she plays, and she never sacrifices three-dimensionality for a laugh. She embraces her characters’ flaws and strengths and plays them as equally important. She finds the humanity in every role she takes on.

To make people laugh while doing all this is like juggling an entire set of expensive china and never breaking a piece. Long may she keep our china intact.

Feig is the director and a co-writer of the upcoming film Ghostbusters

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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