'Cook Off!': Wendi McLendon-Covey shares 'painful' story behind film being shelved for 10 years


Wendi McLendon-Covey is opening up about "the worst experience" she's ever had in Hollywood.

Currently starring on long-running ABC sitcom "The Goldbergs," McLendon-Covey co-wrote and appeared in a recently-released film "Cook Off!" -- but the story behind the improvised comedy is quite the tale. Though the movie hit theaters in the fall of 2017, it was actually filmed back in 2007 before being shelved for a decade.

Not much was really known about why the film sat unreleased for 10 years, so AOL Entertainment asked the actress about it while catching up with her at her "Dishervention" event with Cascade this week.

"I'll tell you what I can tell you," McLendon-Covey started. "That was one of the most painful, frustrating experiences for me and probably the worst experience I’ve ever had in this business."

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"We filmed it, we took it to Aspen for the last comedy festival they ever did, it won an award for me," she went on. "I was in two all-improvised movies that somehow both made it in [to the festival], and I got an award that they created for me for being in those two movies. But then it sat there for a long, long time. People involved with it ... I thought we were making a fun ensemble film, but turns out it was basically to promote one person and her needs."

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The "Bridesmaids" actress explained that there was a deal to distribute the film around 2013, six years after the film's initial premiere, that eventually fell through and proved to be the final straw for her.

"That’s when I said take my name off, I want nothing to do with it," McLendon-Covey said. "I would pay to have myself edited out if I could."

The film features a truly star-studded cast: Melissa McCarthy, Louie Anderson, Niecy Nash, Diedrich Bader and Gary Anthony Williams also star in the movie, which, in it's final form, "is a different movie that what we put together," McLendon-Covey insisted.

"I’ve washed my hands of it, and it’s too bad, because at one point we had a sweet little movie, and people came in and did us favors like Melissa McCarthy," she added. "Now, what’s in there is basically every bit of footage that was shot with her, which is why it’s like she’s doing the same thing over and over again. Saying the same words, doing the same action. It doesn’t make any sense, and it looks ridiculous. I’m embarrassed about it."

As she watched the world around "Cook Off!" fall to pieces, the former "Reno 911!" standout remembered being in denial about what was really going on.

"You hear about these things happening and you think, ‘I can’t be getting screwed, because who would screw me so openly?'" she recalled. "It makes you doubt yourself, because you think that nobody would be that blatant about it. Anyway, it was very ugly."

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