In case you’ve somehow forgotten, this is what Melissa McCarthy’s face looks like. Her eyes are a light bluish green; her face and neck are fairly substantial.
Neither of those things is true, however, in the U.K. poster for The Heat, McCarthy’s upcoming buddy cop comedy with Sandra Bullock. On the left, you’ll see the offending image; for comparison’s sake, we’ve included the American poster on the right.
The U.K. version of the poster seems to have slimmed down McCarthy’s face and neck, and even to have darkened her eye color — rendering the Oscar nominee pretty unrecognizable. As the British blog The Shiznit points out (with a nifty before-and-after GIF), this is a curious choice: For better or for worse, Melissa McCarthy is known primarily as a plus-sized funnywoman. Why bother shaving “a good 30lbs” off her face when her size is no secret — and doubles as one of the qualities that helps her stand out as an actress?
Of course, Photoshop disasters happen all the time in Hollywood. Jennifer Hudson complained about receiving digital liposuction on the cover of her 2008 self-titled album; Keira Knightley joked last year that she was given “really strange droopy t-ts” on the poster for 2004’s King Arthur; McCarthy herself has received the Photoshop Diet treatment before, in a character poster for 2011’s Bridesmaids that gave her a more defined neck and cheekbones.
Keeping that in mind, then, McCarthy’s look on the U.K. Heat poster isn’t much of a surprise. In fact, I’m more confused by the way she’s rendered on the American poster — between the stylized washing-out and the sunglasses (not to mention a neck that may have gotten a slimming treatment of its own), it would be impossible to tell who’s sharing space with Sandra Bullock in that image if her last name didn’t appear above the title of the film.
The real lesson here: The Heat‘s poster designers could use some work. Its trailer-makers, though, know what’s up: