Melissa McCarthy at the 2013 Oscars
Melissa McCarthy at the 2013 Oscars

Talented funnywoman Melissa McCarthy has been on a roll for the past couple of years. She won an Emmy for CBS comedy "Mike and Molly" in 2011, stole the show and received an Oscar nomination for box office hit "Bridesmaids" in 2012, and then proved her headliner appeal alongside Jason Bateman in poorly reviewed if box-office boffo "Identity Thief" in early 2013. McCarthy recently sat down with Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times and talked her upcoming comedy "The Heat," in which she stars with Sandra Bullock as an odd couple of law enforcers; the key to her comedy; and that notorious Rex Reed review of "Identity Thief." Interview highlights below.

On getting aggressive with Bullock during a scene where they simultaneously squeeze through a doorway:

“I thought, I may just have one shot at this. I’m going to push Sandy Bullock as hard as I can. I’m, like, really, really shoving her. She’s tiny but she’s mighty and she would push back. It was a true fight to the death.”

On the key difference between a crazy character and an eccentric one:

"You push so far past the normal boundaries of what’s O.K. in society. I’m always fully aware of, ‘You can’t do this’… When someone really believes in what they’re saying, but it’s crazy, it’s like my favorite thing on earth… [But] Crazy’s just crazy and there’s nowhere to go. You can have a point of view, it can be very strange, but we have to know your reasoning."

On Rex Reed's notorious review of "Identity Thief," in which he called McCarthy "tractor-sized":

“Really? Why would someone O.K. that? I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs... [Articles like that] just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, ‘That doesn’t reflect on me’… That makes it more true. It means you don’t actually look good enough.”