When Melissa McCarthy followed her sitcom success Mike and Molly with a scene-stealing role in Bridesmaids, there were headlines about the comedy star "having a moment".
That moment has now spanned more than a decade.
A decade that's seen her become one of the highest-paid stars on the planet, an influential producer, and - according to The New York Times - one of "the greatest actors of the 21st Century". (I mean, can you name any else that's earned an Oscar nomination for a role that involves having violent diarrhea in a bathroom sink?)
But still, McCarthy can't help but feel like she's gotten away with it all.
It all started with boredom.
Melissa McCarthy grew up on a corn and soybean farm in the US state of Illinois. Her father worked for a railway company, her mother as a secretary.
The isolated upbringing stoked McCarthy's imagination.
"I had no neighbours, I had no kids to play with. So I’d be, like, running around the barn pretending I was a detective or something," she told The Howard Stern Show.
McCarthy attended a Catholic school where she was on the student council, played tennis, and had lots of friends. But she also flirted with a gothic phase — think dyed black hair, Kabuki makeup and capes paired with her plaid uniform. McCarthy has insisted it wasn't a symptom of teenage angst or small-town rebellion. Again, she was just... bored.
Watch the trailer for Nine Perfect Strangers starring Melissa McCarthy below. Post continues after video.
But despite all the dress-ups and make-believe of her youth, McCarthy didn't head straight for Hollywood after finishing school. She had dreams of being in fashion.
She started out studying textiles at the University of Illinois but dropped out. Then, at the age of 20, with no money, she followed her friend, shoe designer Brian Atwood, to New York.
It was there, on her second night in the city, that Atwood suggested she try stand-up comedy.
McCarthy started out regaling audiences with "long, self-involved stories" at open mic nights, before taking acting classes and ultimately joining Groundlings — the improv and sketch comedy theatre school that boasts alumni including Jennifer Coolidge, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow.