Kathy Bates compares Tammy’s Melissa McCarthy to Lucille Ball

Actress Kathy Bates, known for her work in About Schmidt and Fried Green Tomatoes, plays Lenore in the movie Tammy, which also stars Bridesmaid’s Melissa McCarthy and Thelma & Louise’s Susan Sarandon.

“The main reason for doing it was Melissa McCarthy,” Bates told Tim Lammers, who runs DirectConversations.com. “I had seen her in ‘Bridesmaids,’ and I wish I could be as clever, wonderful and physical in comedy as she is. I wanted to get to know her; — I really wanted to understand her secret. I wondered, ‘How can she stay so real yet push the envelope the way she does, physically and comedically?”

Bates sees similarities between McCarthy, whose breakout role occurred in 2011’s Bridesmaids, and another comedic legend.

“I can see a comparison in her and Lucille Ball in the way Melissa fearlessly goes places that a lot of actresses wouldn’t go. She’s nimble, quick and fearless,” Bates told Lammers. “When we were all doing our improv scenes for the film, we were just shameless trying to be as good as Melissa because she raises the bar — but of course, we fell short.”

Tammy, which has received mixed reviews, opened in theaters on Wednesday.

Do you plan on seeing McCarthy’s latest movie? Do you agree with Bates’ comparison? Share your thoughts in the comments section.