Melissa McCarthy's new action-comedy 'Spy' marks a leap in her career from supporting goofball (she was Oscar nominated for 'Bridesmaids') to co-lead (alongside Sandra Bullock in 'The Heat') and now to carrying a major blockbuster on her own shoulders. It's no coincidence that all three of these movies are directed by Paul Feig, a filmmaker who has long thought that more films should be centred on strong, funny women.

Melissa McCarthy in 'Spy'Melissa McCarthy in 'Spy'

McCarthy grew up in Illinois, and describes her family as "a bunch of funny men who think women are really funny. I didn't grow up with a sense that people thought any differently."

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Her first big break was a role in 'Charlie's Angels' (2000), followed by seven years on the TV series 'Gilmore Girls'. She later returned to television to lead her own sitcom, 'Mike & Molly', and won an Emmy for her performance. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 19th.

Watch The Trailer For 'Spy' Here:

Kristen Wiig, her costar in 'Bridesmaid', says, "Working with Melissa doesn't ever seem like work. At all! We always laugh so much and have the best time. She is so incredibly good at what she does and has such a unique voice, I find when I'm doing a scene with her I want to just watch."

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And McCarthy is enjoying every minute of it. On playing an action hero in 'Spy', she says, "It was so incredibly fun. We had the freedom to do anything we wanted, full-out, to never feel embarrassed or silly for trying it. It was truly a joy."

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Her costar Jason Statham has said that McCarthy is even more hard-core than he is, and that she should join the cast for 'Fast & Furious 8'. Ironically, 'Spy' will take on 'Furious' costar Dwayne Johnson's 'San Andreas' at the box office when it opens next week.