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How Thunder Force's Melissa McCarthy Dance Scene Really Came To Be

It's pretty rare to see a superhero comedy these days — and even more rare for it to star two women. So, Netflix's new film Thunder Force is an anomaly in many ways. The film stars Melissa McCarthy as Lydia Berman and Octavia Spencer as Emily Stanton, and it follows the pair as they sort of accidentally embark on a quest to save the city of Chicago from supervillain The King (Bobby Cannavale) after injecting themselves with a serum that gives them superpowers.

Emily, the scientist behind the serum's creation, has the power to become invisible. Lydia, her childhood best friend, develops a superhuman strength that allows her to hurl a bus while barely breaking a sweat.

Thunder Force sees Lydia using her newfound superstrength in all kinds of unique ways — including performing a random but nonetheless sexy, gravity-defying dance with The Crab (Jason Bateman). As they groove to an '80s love song, she does everything from lick along his crustacean arm to use his back shoulder as a launching pad.

It's one of the more memorable scenes in the film — and it was no easy feat to pull off. A ton of work went into making the epic dance a reality, and Melissa McCarthy played a big role behind the scenes.

For the Thunder Force dance scene, Melissa McCarthy was the MVP both on screen and off

When it came time to film the dance scene between superhero Lydia and her love interest, writer-director (and Melissa McCarthy's real-life husband) Ben Falcone said a lot of elements had to come together, per Entertainment Weekly. The crew faced a unique challenge in locking down the complicated sequence because they had just one day to shoot it.

Perhaps the most impressive insight Falcone offered about the Thunder Force dance scene is that McCarthy was a real-life superhero on the set — meaning she did all her own stunts for the sequence. "There were so many devices, rigs, and harnesses, and Melissa loves wire work, which is what superhero movies are known for!" the director said. "We had no computer! It's all Melissa on wires! She had to learn that. It was really hard to get her off the wires because she loves them so much."

In addition to getting help nailing down her high-flying moves from choreographer Zachary Woodlee, the actress also took point when it came to selecting the makeup and wardrobe she and Bateman wore for the sequence. Falcone said, "I tend to put wardrobe and hair and makeup more to her direction because she's so good at all of that stuff... I remember she goes, 'Oh yeah, no, we're '80s. It's going to be great.'"

It's clear, from Falcone's recollection, that Melissa McCarthy played a vital role in shaping the Thunder Force dance scene, which might be why it's such a hilarious and memorable moment in the Netflix film.