Melissa McCarthy Shares What She Hopes to Pass on to Her Daughters (Exclusive)

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Melissa McCarthy is hoping to pass on her parents’ wisdom to her own children.

The 48-year-old Oscar nominee opened up to ET’s Keltie Knight about this year’s awards season and how special it’s been to have her mom, Sandy, by her side throughout the process. 

"It’s amazing to do this with her. To do anything, go to the grocery store is fun with my mom, so that is just like a little ridiculous,” she mused. "And it’s so fun to be here and to be able to go through this whole thing with her is a dream." 

McCarthy noted that the way in which her parents cheered her on was a bit different from some and possibly the reason for her success. 

"They were never not supportive. They were incredibly supportive, but they never were just like, ‘Everything you do is amazing. You’re built for magic and spun sugar.’ It’s like, if you work hard enough and you put everything into it, why not you? And it may not be instant and it may not ever happen, but if you love it, keep doing it,’” she shared. “And I think that’s the best thing, and I hope to pass [that] on to my girls. I don’t think it helps to just tell someone, ‘You’re just better.’ You have to work at it and you need to hear, ‘Work really hard and then you’ve got as good of a chance as anybody else.’”

Melissa McCarthy and mom Sandy
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McCarthy is the mom of Vivian, 11, and Georgette, 8, with her husband, Ben Falcone. One fellow nominee who has impressed her with his work ethic is Rami Malek, who first got his SAG card thanks to an appearance on McCarthy’s show, Gilmore Girls. Malek previously told ET that he pretended to be his own agent to help land the part. 

"I think I knew that when Mr. Robot started, because I love that show. I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I forgot about that with all of this Bohemian Rhapsody stuff, and he’s a great agent for himself, apparently,” McCarthy said of the former guest star. "I’d tell his agent, ‘Watch out,’ ‘cause he’s pretty good on his own.”

McCarthy’s role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? earned her a second Oscar nomination. When the nominees were read, the actress had trouble believing the news.  

"I got a call, and I immediately thought, ‘Oh, my parents’ alarm went off,’ and I was like, ‘What’s the matter? Is everyone OK?' And they’re like, ‘You’ve been nominated,’ and I’m like, ‘Is the alarm OK?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh for god’s sake! What are you talking about?’” she quipped. "And then it gets kind of hazy and fuzzy and it takes a moment to process that.”

As for the big night, which is happening later this month, McCarthy has some plans for the red carpet. 

"If I wear what I think I’m gonna wear, it’s fun and different for me, and it’s also different from what most people wear, so for me, I love that,” she teased. 

The 91st Oscars will air Sunday, Feb. 24, live on ABC. 

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