I was watching a trailer for Melissa McCathy's latest film The Boss when I noticed nearly in every scene she is wearing a high of topped dress/outfit. Check out the images below.

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Does anyone know if she is suffering from neck problems or if it is just for her character.

  • A turtleneck is one thing...in The Boss Melissa McCarthy basically wore material to the base of her chin...odd, strange looking. Like watching someone wearing their clothes inside out without realizing it.
    – Tracy
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 23:53
  • @Tracy Yeah...that's the look that she was going for with this character. Melissa McCarthy wanted something absurd, yet still classy. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 0:55

3 Answers 3


I wondered the exact same thing after I saw this movie. I knew that Melissa McCarthy went through a drastic weight loss recently and I thought that she may have had extra skin removed and she was just hiding that with those high neck scarves and turtlenecks.

This is not the case. Melissa McCarthy envisioned this character and her wardrobe long ago and wardrobe designer Wendy Chuck helped her realize her vision with that character. From a People magazine interview:

Her new experience in the fashion world also inspired the star to get behind-the-scenes in the wardrobe apartment while filming The Boss.

While character Michelle isn’t quite as in-tune with the ‘less is more’ approach to style, McCarthy says it was “a blast” to go with “the more absurd” looks.

She adds of the process, “once we knew who she was, which I’ve known for a long time, it’s like, you couldn’t fool Michelle. She requires a certain amount of pomp and circumstance. Nobody wanted to see Michelle in dockers and a t-shirt.

This wardrobe does not have an out of universe explanation. It is simply Melissa McCarthy's vision for the character.

  • 1
    thanks for the answer. It's good to know someone else was thinking the same thing :)
    – Jordan
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 15:16

I can't find anything specific, nor have I heard of anything specific, but I can show you these clips:

April 3, 2016

April 4, 2016

April 7, 2016

In none of these interviews is she wearing any sort of neck brace. So, my best guess is that it was for her character.

  • The movie was shot a year before that, though (filming began on March 12, 2015).
    – Walt
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:06
  • 1
    Here's an interview from June 2015. She's got good neck movement. youtube.com/watch?v=CcmcVK0q4SE Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:09

Apparently it was an intentional choice made by Melissa McCarthy, who co-wrote the film. She wanted to convey that her character had a consistent (if slightly quirky) fashion motif that carried across into all of her outfits.

While The Boss might be a new movie for Melissa McCarthy, the character of Michelle Darnell stretches way, way back to the earliest points on the actress’ career timeline. “I did this character about 14 or 15 years ago at The Groundlings Theatre,” says McCarthy of one of LA’s most important improv comedy venues. “She looked very similar to how she looks now. She wore a turtleneck to the jawline, and I remember someone saying, ‘Why is her turtleneck so high?’ and I said, ‘Because that’s how she wears it.’ I don’t know why, but the second that I saw her, I thought, ‘I know exactly how she wears her turtleneck.’ I had a $35 wig for her at the time, which I still have, and I brought it in when we started doing the film. I said, ‘Make me one that looks just like this.’ I wanted her to have short red hair, with a turtleneck, and very elaborate makeup. I love the kind of person that gets a look that they feel good in, and then they just lock into it. At some point, they said, ‘I look good, I feel good.’ It might have been way back in their twenties. I love those people that stick with it, and they don’t care what other people say. They don’t care if it’s a little too dramatic. You see that in all walks of life. They think that they’re doing their own thing, and you can tell that they love it. I’ve always had a fascination for that, and those women who are SO done. I always think, ‘I wish I had the time.’”

FilmInk - Melissa Mccarthy: She’s The Boss

And to debunk the suggestion that she was wearing it to conceal her neck for personal reasons, here's an interview that was done a few days before the film was released. Her neck seems fine.

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