Melissa McCarthy thought her gig was to simply read the list of names for the 2011 Emmy Awards this morning. Perhaps the toughest part was being fresh and upbeat at 5:35 AM. But there was more in store for this actress than she ever imagined.
This morning's Primetime Emmy Awards live press conference couldn't have been scripted better.
The presentation became as funny, dramatic, and moving as the nominees presented this year, when host Melissa McCarthy found out she is a nominee for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
When her co-host, Joshua Jackson of Fox's Fringe read Melissa's name, he paused. McCarthy, exclaimed, "Keep it together!" as Jackson read the other nominees, which include Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope, Laura Linney in The Big C, Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie, Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, and Tina Fey in 30 Rock.
With her voice trembling, Melissa McCarthy learned new meaning of "the show must go on," as she had at least another 15 minutes live on camera before she could really react to this first-time Emmy nomination.
Her co-host, Joshua Jackson was fortunately there to literally support McCarthy, who says she thought she might need to be picked up from the ground.
"I thought, 'I'm going down,'" she later told TV Guide news.
It was such a show-stopper, heart-warmer, and feel good moment, with McCarthy's reaction so perfect, it made you wonder if, in fact, the whole thing really was scripted.
When asked if her response was genuine, McCarthy told Gather, "Yes! I almost started crying." She described how every emotion ran through her, as she tried to maintain her composure.
Chief Operating Officer for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Alan Perris joined in, telling Gather it was an absolute surprise, and they were pretty proud of how they pulled it off.
Perris said they had to show McCarthy a script backstage with only five lead actress nominees. "We had her name covered, until she got on stage." There, she read the true list, including her name.
So while Melissa McCarthy still is a very gifted actress, and the nomination is well-deserved for her work on Mike and Molly, today's performance was completely unscripted and 100 percent human.
Very refreshing to see.
Thanks for the pre-show drama, Emmy team!
Melissa McCarthy has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. The Emmys air September 18th on FOX.