Chris O'Dowd and Melissa McCarthy share the experience of both having appeared in the Oscar-nominated Bridesmaids, though they shared few to no scenes together in the movie. The two of them later briefly worked opposite one another in 2014's St. Vincent, directed by Theodore Melfi. Now the pair have reunited with Melfi for The Starling, a Netflix drama that sees them finally "getting into the trenches with each other."
Speaking exclusively to PopCulture.com, O'Dowd shared that, in many ways, this "did feel like it was the first time" they got to really dig into their roles together, "and it was lovely." In the film, O'Dowd and McCarthy play Jack and Lily Maynard, a married couple who have lived through a terrible tragedy and have each gone about processing their grief in different ways. As they walk different paths toward healing, they are forced to fight for their relationship while also fighting for their own mental and emotional health. The title of the film comes from a contentious little bird who makes Lily's journey much harder.
Grieving is not a linear process.— Netflix (@netflix) September 21, 2021
Melissa McCarthy delivers another incredibly moving performance in The Starling, premiering this Friday. pic.twitter.com/H4myuaSX73
"She's all the things that she kind of comes across as," O'Dowd says of his co-star and friend, "very warm, but also, she's very, very talented." While the film's subject matter is quite heavy, O'Dowd says that he gleaned a lot of support from McCarthy and Melfi. "I was very lucky in that I was surrounded by people who were very sensitive and lovely," he shared.
"Melissa and Ted are just lovely f—ing people, but there were times where the kind of loss that these people go through, and as a father myself, to do justice and to get it to a place that it feels authentic, you imagine the worst f—ing things in the world happening." O'Dowd went on to say, "And so, to have people around you who are keen to bring out, if not lighter moments, more comedic moments, was something of a relief, and I found that it can be overwhelming. Otherwise, I found getting into the mindset of a person who was been through this kind of loss, with the research and with the kind of the prep that you put in, that part of it was less difficult than getting out of it." The Starling is now playing in select theaters. It will begin streaming on Netflix this Friday, Sept. 24.