The actress/model was raised in a conservative, Catholic family and dreamed of joining the sisterhood, even draping a towel over her head to pretend she was wearing a traditional habit.
However, her ambition was crushed after she visited the local parish convent and learned nuns are not allowed to have children.
In a column for the Chicago Sun-Times, MCCarthy writes, "I was seven years old when the door to the convent opened and what followed altered my desire to be ordained as a nun forever. Standing before me was Sister Mary F. in a pair of jeans, a rock concert T-shirt and a really scary tight perm. My eyes bulged out of my head as I stared at her veil-less head. I thought veils were glued to the nuns' heads!
"I immediately burst into tears and hid behind my mom's legs in fear of witnessing any more of this harsh reality. Sister Mary F. then asked me the million-dollar question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' With absolute sincerity I replied, 'A nun... and a mom.' They all chuckled and I couldn't understand what was so funny. They then explained to me that nuns don't have children. My young brain envisioned nuns as women who were born without uteri. I knew in my soul that even though I wanted to go to heaven, I yearned to be a mom more than anything in the world. I ran over to my mom and tapped her on the leg and said, 'Mom, I don't want to be a nun anymore. I'll take my chances with hell and be Wonder Woman instead.'"
MCCarthy went on to become a nude model for Playboy magazine and gave birth to her son, Evan Joseph, in May 2002.