The Ghostbusters reboot, out July 15, is truly an ensemble affair. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon play off of one another’s wackiness as a quartet of malevolent-apparition hunters in a way that makes each actor indispensable to the crew. But if there’s one performer whose appearance in director Paul Feig’s summer comedy was a foregone conclusion, it’s McCarthy, who has developed a robust working relationship with Feig, from Bridesmaids to The Heat to Spy.
As a comedic lead McCarthy has proven both bankable and worthy of critical adulation—her turn in Bridesmaids was met with an Academy Award nomination, a rare feat for a performance that includes explosive bodily excretions—largely thanks to her blend of slapstick looniness and warmth. In anticipation of her turn as Abby Yates in Ghostbusters, here’s a look at McCarthy’s greatest roles, all the way back to Gilmore Girls‘ beloved Sookie St. James.
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