9. Melissa McCarthy
In the rebooted film, Melissa McCarthy plays the role of Abby Yates, and unsuccessful author who has written about her belief in ghosts and the paranormal. The book gets her laughed out of a position at Columbia University, but her knowledge is rewarded when Manhattan is invaded by ghosts, and Yates has to team up with fellow scientists to save her city.
McCarthy was born in 1970 in Illinois, and gained recognition for her portrayal of Sookie St. James in the TV series Gilmore Girls. When the show wrapped in 2007, she went on to play Dena on Samantha Who? and then the title role in Mike & Molly. She earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the CBS series.
Before her acting career took off, McCarthy was actually pursuing a career in fashion. She attended Southern Illinois University’s Textiles program and worked as a dance company costumer. As she has garnered more attention as an actress, she has built a clothing line focusing on plus-sized women, including sizes up to 28. McCarthy has said “People don’t stop at size 12.”
Asked about the controversy surrounding the new movie, McCarthy shrugs it all off. “We had such a good time filming it,” she says, “The four of us talk constantly, I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. The movie’s going to be amazing.” Given the vitriol directed at these four women, her approach is right on.