The 45-year-old has become one of Hollywood's most popular stars thanks to roles in Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy, and Melissa revealed to Britain's The Guardian newspaper she loves playing characters which don't always fit the stereotype.

“People say to me, ‘These characters are crazy’, and I’m like, ‘Are they?’” she said. “Because I’ve seen three people in Rite Aid drug store act like that. I think when a female character acts more defiant, it’s seen as a little more crazy. There are women in the world like this, we’re just not used to seeing them portrayed.

"We generally just see The Pleasant Lady who stands behind her husband going ‘Oh, Jack.’ But I really love a female character who is not playing by the rules.”

Melissa has always tried to do things her way both on screen and off, and credits her father Michael with instilling a sense of self worth as well as a strong work ethic with helping her achieve her goals, especially in an industry like Hollywood, where sexism, ageism and a warped perception of what is beautiful is rife.

"My dad’s attitude made me always like, ‘Why not you?’" she said. "So it just never occurred to me that being a woman, or from a small town, or not being some other being, made me not in the running. What’s better to give somebody than a sturdy work ethic and reasonable confidence?"

Melissa has also got husband - director Ben Falcone - and their two daughters supporting her all the way, and the star hopes to be a good role model to her girls.

"I hope to pass that on to my kids," she continued regarding self-confidence. "Not that they’re perfect in every way, but they’ve got a shot at it, right?”