Melissa McCarthy has revealed the inspiration for her character as Ursula in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
When it was first announced that the 52-year-old would be playing the iconic Disney villain, it seemed like everyone agreed that the casting director couldn’t have chosen a better actress, and now that we’ve seen Melissa McCarthy in action via teasers, it’s official.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress confessed that drag queens inspired her character.
Check out the trailer for The Little Mermaid: The Lost Empire.
“I’m a huge, huge fan of drag shows and the whole art of it and the entertainment of it,” she told the outlet. “I’ve been going to shows since I was not supposed to be going to shows. There’s a drag queen that lives in me. I’m always right on the verge of going full-time with her.”
She also admitted to channeling her inner drag queen Miss Y, a role she used to inhabit in the New York club scene.
“I have a drag queen inside of me.” “I’m always on the verge of going full-time with her,” she told Rob Marshall, the show’s director. “To keep the humour, sadness, and edginess in Ursula is everything I want in a character – and, frankly, everything I want in a drag queen.”
Melissa McCarthy also discussed what we could expect from Ursula in the interview and her passion for the character as a whole.
“She’s been put in this lair. It’s like she’s had too many martinis alone. Her friends are eels,” she described. “That is a woman who has seen it, been in it, dug her way back out. All my references are terrible, but I kept thinking, ‘Many a Pall Mall has this woman had.'”
When speaking about how she secured the role, the Gilmore Girls alum stated that she had to give it her best shot or she would “regret it forever.”
“I literally was like, ‘Please, please, please! I’ll bring craft services. I make a great chicken salad, hummus. I can bring snacks,'” McCarthy recalled. “I don’t know what lunacy went through my head, because I’m not known as a singer, but I just have always been so strangely in love with Ursula that I thought I can try and lose, but if I don’t at least try for it, I’ll regret it forever.”
Speaking of McCarthy, Marshall also added: “I have to say, when you see her in this, you will not believe it because it’s unlike anything she’s ever done. It’s really astonishing. Of course she’s funny and wild, but there’s such depth to what she’s doing as an actor.”
Melissa McCarthy co-stars in Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action version with Halle Bailey as Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.