Melissa McCarthy may be an award-winning celebrity in her own right, but even she was apparently awestruck by the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
The actress confessed that she “weirdly geeked out” and “got really nervous” while meeting the Women’s World Cup champions at a screening of her latest movie in Los Angeles.
“I kind of got like clammy and weird,” McCarthy told The Associated Press during a red carpet interview on Monday.
But the soccer stars turned out to be “so nice and really cool,” McCarthy said.
In a photo McCarthy posted to Instagram, athletes Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Ashlyn Harris and Crystal Dunn posed with the actress and her “The Kitchen” co-stars Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss.
The record-breaking soccer team is currently on a victory tour on home turf, playing five games against international teams in the upcoming months. The women opened their tour on Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland.
The soccer stars have also been leading conversations about equal pay for women. On Friday, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association announced a partnership with Time’s Up, a women’s empowerment movement within the entertainment industry that is working to fight workplace harassment and sexual abuse. The goal of the partnership is to raise money to fund equal pay advocacy.
McCarthy said the women’s team has been a source of inspiration for her two daughters ― Vivian, born in 2007, and Georgie, born in 2010. The team demonstrates what happens when strong women work together, the actress said.
“They’re so impressive to me and they’re everything that I love seeing and I want my girls to see,” she said. “I have two daughters, and to watch women work collectively and show how strong they are, and we’re better together — and they are that personified, and they live it.”