Carbondale native Ben Falcone has walked the red carpet several times with his wife Melissa McCarthy, but Monday night’s stroll past the cameras had to feel extra special.

Ben and Melissa celebrated the official premiere of their new film “Tammy” -- directed by the former and starring the latter -- with their parents.

“It’s been just as natural as can be because Ben is so calm and cool,” said proud father Steve Falcone before Monday’s screening at the iconic TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “But it’s also been surreal at the same time.”

Steve said the promotion hyping the film’s release has been unbelievable. Melissa appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, the couple hit all the major talk shows and a truck even delivered free apple pies around Los Angeles.

The hard work has already paid dividends, as the couple has a second film in the works with Universal. “Tammy” is Ben’s directorial debut, but he’ll step back into those shoes with “Michelle Darnell,” based on a character Melissa created at Groundlings Theater.

“He’s worked hard and come a long way,” Steve said of his son’s success.

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Ben also appears alongside Melissa in “Tammy,” playing the role of an antagonistic boss that Steve used choice words to describe. Having access to some of the footage left on the cutting room floor, Steve said it was disappointing to see a scene in which Dan Aykroyd, who plays Melissa’s father, punches Ben’s character cut from the final version.

“It was so cool,” Steve said. “Can you imagine being punched by Dan Aykroyd?”

While the elder Falcones had already seen the movie before the screening, being part of the Hollywood atmosphere added to the experience. Steve said he and his wife, Peg, had previously traveled to see some of the filming, but being in Los Angeles felt special.

“We’ve been having a great time on Ben’s dime,” he said, laughing.

“Tammy” opens at Carbondale’s AMC ShowPlace 8 and Marion’s AMC Centre 8 this evening. In the movie, Melissa plays a woman having a really bad day who decides to flee. The only problem is the only ride she has is her grandma, played by Susan Sarandon, who wants to make the trip to Niagra Falls, which isn’t exactly the escape the titular character had in mind.

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