Kathy Bates is thrilled to be in "Tammy," the new sentimental comedy co-written by and starring Melissa McCarthy, because the "Bridesmaids" actress is exactly the kind of costar Bates likes: an unpretentious, professional, real person.

"I want [costars] to be down to Earth. I want them to be an Earthling," Bates said to HitFix. "I want them to be a groundling, as well as be able to do magnificent things. My mother always said you need to be able to walk with paupers and you need to be able to walk with kings. That's how I kind of feel about people in general. You want to be able to have a real conversation with somebody and still have them do magic tricks and be magnificent."

In addition to her funny scenes in "Tammy," Bates gets the opportunity to do something truly bizarre: throw a flaming pike into a jetski. The Oscar-winning "Misery" star explained she could achieve the athletic feat thanks to the encouragement of costar Sandra Oh.

"She gave me the courage," Bates said. "She said, 'Remember when you did this in college, how great you were in track and field?' I was like, 'Oh, yeah! Right! I remember.'"

Check our video interview to learn about the kind of writers who drive Bates crazy, her history in dance, and being radical in the '60s.