“It wasn’t like I ever wanted to play the stunning-girl lead part who just says 17 dry lines,” the Spy star told Rolling Stone in February 2017. “That didn’t seem like fun to me. But you go through everything, like maybe if I was taller, prettier, thinner, would I be going out on more auditions? But then in the back of my head, I didn’t want to do those parts.”
After getting her start with the Groundlings improv comedy group — which also boasts Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Will Ferrell as alums — McCarthy landed the role of Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls in 2000. Though fans loved her portrayal of the klutzy chef, her true breakout moment didn’t arrive for another decade.
In September 2010, the Identity Thief star debuted as one half of the titular couple in the sitcom Mike & Molly. She won an Emmy the following year for her performance in the show’s first season, but it was her turn in Bridesmaids that catapulted her to a totally different level of fame. The part garnered her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2012 Oscars — a rarity for a comedy role.
Though her stock was soaring, the comedian still faced criticism about her weight and often fielded questions about it in interviews.
“I just find it dumb and boring. I really do,” she told AARP The Magazine in April 2018. “No one’s asking a man, how do you keep your legs in shape? Which I’ve been asked. I think every time we categorize people — by weight, by race, by gender — we put them in boxes and it’s not a good thing for the world.”
“There’s an epidemic in our country of girls and women feeling bad about themselves based on what 0.5 percent of the human race looks like,” she told Redbook in March 2016. “It starts very young. My message is that as long as everybody’s healthy, enjoy and embrace whatever body type you have.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at McCarthy’s body evolution over the years.