Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone on ‘Superintelligence’ and Living Comedy


FALCONE It read like a wonderful throwback movie, where it’s super funny and high concept, but there’s also a charm and a seriousness of content. You know, before movies were told, “You will only be this.”

McCARTHY I don’t agree with having to pick such a lane. Somewhere in the last 15 years, especially, it was like, if you’re a comedy, you are only a comedy. I think of movies like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” I laugh so hard, I cry so hard, it breaks me, it delights me. We want to tell more stories that are messy like life.

Melissa, you run the gamut of emotions with Brian Tyree Henry and Bobby Cannavale in “Superintelligence.” How did Ben direct that?

McCARTHY Ben and I have such a shorthand. We’ve been writing and performing together for 25 years, starting at the Groundlings Theater in L.A. And when you have that kind of trust, you know that you can try anything and you can’t really make a fool of yourself. Ben is a great keeper of the story. I still can get very locked into the minutiae of the scene itself.

The way Ben directs, it’s like yes, you want to push things to be funny or to elicit a feeling. But you have to walk that line of keeping it real, because if you break that, you can’t come back from that damage.

FALCONE We have a phrase that started on “Superintelligence,” which is, “Let’s do the one that hurts my heart.” A different version, just in case. So many times, the thing that we thought was great isn’t going to do it. The script — we really care about it, we work on it so hard, but it’s a living, breathing thing. If we feel the need to do reshoots, I don’t want it to be for some silly reason because we weren’t protecting the movie as much as we should’ve been.



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