'Bridesmaids' director defends Melissa McCarthy from critic

Paul Feig gives New York Observer writer both barrels for calling actress a 'hippo'

Director Paul Feig has defended actress Melissa McCarthy by telling a critic to 'go f*** himself' after he called McCarthy a 'hippo' in a review of her new film.

Rex Reed, who critiques films for the New York Observer, was writing about McCarthy's latest performance in 'Identity Thief' with Jason Bateman.

[Related story: Check out the Identity Thief trailer]

McCarthy... defended by her Bridesmaids director Paul Feig (Copyright: Rex)

Reed, who has also been widely lambasted by his readers for the remarks, also called McCarthy 'tractor-sized' and a 'screeching, humongous creep'.

“Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success. Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?” he said.

In response, Paul Feig took to Twitter to defend his former cast-member.

“For his catty and school bully name-calling of the supremely talented Melissa McCarthy, I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go f*** himself,” he wrote.

Others weighed in too, 'Modern Family' star Eric Stonestreet tweeting: "Turns out Rex Reed didn't die sad and alone 10 years ago. Nope. He's alive and starving for attention, so let's give him some."

McCarthy seems to have had the last laugh anyway, with the film slotting in at number one in the US movie chart over the weekend. It made $36.6 million (£23.17 million).

It's due out in the UK on March 22.

[Related link: Buy Bridesmaids DVD on Amazon]