"If you’re handed everything you want at 19 or 20, you may actually believe all of the people who are like, ‘You’re amazing.’ I think I would have been probably cuckoo [if I’d been successful] at 18," she shares. "I think the best thing I could have done was struggle until I was 30. I always assume every job is my last. Twenty years of desperately trying to get a single job gets deep in your DNA."
The 47-year-old actress admits that she has not always been paid what she felt she was worth. "There were some jobs when I was paid what most [of my co-stars were]. And then people who climbed the ladder with me were suddenly making 15 times what I made," she recalls. "I was like, 'Wait, wait, wait.' I thought, 'This is based on bulls**t.' This is not based on anything factual to me. I hated that feeling of not being in control and not being able to do anything about it. I think that feeling is what keeps the fight in me."
McCarthy credits the hard times in Hollywood for helping her appreciate what she has now. "There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think, 'I can’t believe I’m doing this,'" she notes. "And there is no world where I confuse the fact that I’ve gotten lucky with the idea that there’s something special about me. I think entitlement is a really, really scary thing to possess. For me, it’s like, ‘No. I’ve gotten lucky, and I’ve worked hard.’”
The actress also answers fans' questions in a video for Glamour, and reveals what she would "never" pay money for. "I would never spend money on reptiles," she quips. "I have one in my backyard, and I don't love it."
In another recent interview with AARP, McCarthy also shared how her mother, Sandra, impacted her career early on when she only had $45 in her pocket. Check it out: