Melissa McCarthy stars in 'The Kitchen' as an Irish mobster's wife who takes matters into her own hands

Irish American Melissa McCarthy drew upon her Irish roots while filming ‘The Kitchen,’ a gangster film set in 1970s New York City.

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In the film, McCarthy stars as Kathy Brennan, wife to Jimmy Brennan of the notorious Irish mob in Hell’s Kitchen. When Brenna and other Irish mob leaders are imprisoned by the FBI, their wives take over the business, eventually becoming some of the most powerful women in New York City.

In 2014, McCarthy told IrishCentral that her preference for strong characters is a result of her Irish American upbringing: “My grandmother and grandfather both came over from Ireland. They had a tough go of it. But family was important to them and they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and kept it intact and took each day at a time. I strongly relate to that.”

“Being Irish is part of the way I approach the world,” McCarthy added. “Well, we’ve had a rough enough time you know? We’ve had a rough go of it but I think there’s a sturdiness that comes from that too and I think that there’s a really realistic way of looking at the world that comes from it.”

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In the film, McCarthy’s character goes head to head with Irish mob leaders in order to get enough financial protection for her and her kids after her husband is put behind bars. When the funds aren’t enough, she and the other wives, played by Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss, take matters into their own hands.

McCarthy also told IrishCentral’s sister publication Irish America Magazine: “There’s a scrappiness to the Irish that I can very much relate to.”

“It’s a kind of working-class, not afraid to get your hands dirty, take care of a situation kind of thing. Being Irish means being self-sufficient and doing whatever is needed. My dad’s friends in Chicago were all Irish and we grew up thinking of ourselves as Irish. His dad was a Carty, but the name got changed to McCarthy when he emigrated. I’m truly a Carty.”

McCarthy added: “I’ve got about a million Chicago Irish cops in my family, and if things hadn’t worked out for me as an actress, I could have seen myself as a teacher.”

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You can watch the trailer for ‘The Kitchen’ here:

Have you seen 'The Kitchen' yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!