Melissa McCarthy has emerged as one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. But her offscreen lifestyle suggests otherwise.

She still resides in a small three-bedroom house in Los Angeles suburb Toluca Lake with her husband, Ben Falcone.

Their two young daughters share a room, and her Mac computer is packed in the closet.

"We're in the tiniest bedroom on Earth," McCarthy confesses. On the morning of the 2012 Oscars, when she was getting dolled up for her big evening as a supporting actress nominee for her breakout role as the loudmouth sidekick in "Bridesmaids," she didn't have any space in the house to get dressed. "I had my stylist come to my garage," McCarthy says. "My friends are like, 'Get it together!'"

(Danielle Levitt for Variety)

McCarthy recounts this story on a recent evening in Budapest over a long dinner of veggie burgers, cucumber salad and beer. Her husband of nine years, seated at her side, often nods, smiles, finishes her sentences and holds her hand. McCarthy is here filming the upcoming 20th Century Fox action comedy "Spy" while on hiatus from her CBS series "Mike & Molly," for which she won an Emmy in 2011. She reveals that when her family heads back to Los Angeles, they will eventually move.

"We're working on a bigger house," she says. "It's going to take a while."

The McCarthy-Falcones aren't just looking to upgrade their digs. They are also expanding their careers. McCarthy, 43, an actress who early on did character work in Tennessee Williams plays in New York and co-starred on the TV series "Gilmore Girls," is now the reigning queen of comedy at the box office, thanks to her hits "Bridesmaids," "Identity Thief" and "The Heat." Falcone, 40, is a character actor who appeared in supporting roles in the TV series "Joey" and films such as "Enough Said." But now he's best known for popping up as the lovable sidekick in his wife's films -- the modern-day Desi to her Lucy.

In "Bridesmaids," he played the air marshal who ends up in her bed by the end credits (wearing a pair of McCarthy's panties at the urging of producer Judd Apatow). He's a hotel clerk in "Identity Thief," an ex-boyfriend in "The Heat," and a lost American tourist in "Spy." In their New Line Cinema summer comedy "Tammy," about a Midwestern heroine who loses her job and embarks on a road trip with her alcoholic and promiscuous grandmother (Susan Sarandon), he's the grumpy fast-food boss that fires her. "She threw burgers at me and hit me in the face so many times," Falcone says.

Behind the camera, the duo is aiming to build a comedy empire one raunchy joke at a time through their 2-year-old production company On the Day. "Tammy" represents their first outing as bigscreen producers, and it also poses a significant risk. Falcone doesn't just appear in the film, he co-wrote it with his wife, and for the first time he's stepped in to direct. McCarthy took a pay cut from her multimillion salary in exchange for a backend on the Fourth of July weekend release.

It's a risky proposition for a movie star to put her trust in the hands of a first-time helmer -- let alone her spouse. "I've been there," quips Sarandon, who won the Oscar for "Dead Man Walking," which was helmed by Tim Robbins, her boyfriend at the time (who had previously directed "Bob Roberts"). But McCarthy downplays any concerns. "Ben has always been great with big picture and minutiae," she says. For his part, Falcone says he never thought about jinxing his wife's hot streak at the box office. "She's done so well," he says. "You want to help continue that. But then if you're given an opportunity, you have to take it. You can't say, 'Oh boy, what if this doesn't work?' "

In fact, McCarthy originally planned on directing "Tammy" with Falcone, and the couple even went so far as to consider applying for co-director status at the DGA until she realized her TV schedule would get in the way of pre-production.

"I directed an episode of 'Mike & Molly' this last season," McCarthy says. "I loved it, because … "

" … Because she craves power above all else!" Falcone quips.

McCarthy changed the comedy landscape by proving she could be just as vulgar as her male counterparts.

"I think she's thrilling to watch," says Will Ferrell, one of "Tammy's" producers, who knows good raunch when he sees it. "There's a sense of excitement and danger with her performances. She's beautifully reckless and does things you've never seen a woman do."

(Danielle Levitt for Variety)