East Alabama transformed into Hollywood red carpet for ‘Life of the Party’ premiere


Opelika, Al- Fans of Melissa McCarthy and her new film “Life Of The Party” came out in droves for the world premiere. It was a Hollywood spectacle thousands of miles away from Los Angeles-complete with a southern marching band. For McCarthy, being immersed in the collegiate environment was art imitating life.

“It was so fun to be around that kind of energy and all that exuberance,”says McCarthy. “It’s been a while since we’ve been in college and we all just kept saying that there’s something really infectious about being around all these college students. It’s good for the soul.”

Her cast mate, Julie Bowen of the hit series “Modern Family”, agrees.

“I love it. It’s so much more fun than being in L.A.. In L.A., everyone is so jaded,” says Bowen. They do a million premieres…they’re bored…they’re over it. But here everyone is like, yeah!” 

The cast spent quite a bit of time in the South, having shot the film in Atlanta and now the premiere in East Alabama. For one cast member, southern food has become her weakness. 

“I love my biscuits,” says Adria Arjona. “I need to stay away from the South because I think this Puerto Rican booty has had enough.” 

Carbs aside…McCarthy’s presence in a town that rarely has celebrity sightings meant the world to one super fan. 

“I am obsessed with Melissa McCarthy,” says Auburn University student Hannah Lee. “Her movies are hilarious and she can master any role, and that just really amazes me. So I wanted to jump at the opportunity.”

Cast mate Luke Benward also sang McCarthy’s praises, but took a moment to reflect on what’s at the heart of the movie. 

“Melissa is brilliant. But I think the main take-away is second chances,” says Benward. “I think that’s the big theme. When your world falls from underneath you, how do you get back on the horse?” 

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