Melissa McCarthy explains how her view of The Little Mermaid‘s Ursula has changed. Directed by Rob Marshall, the live-action remake of Disney’s 1989 animated film stars Halle Bailey as the young mermaid who dreams of visiting the surface world. McCarthy takes on the role of Ursula. In the animated movie, the sea witch’s motivations to acquire power, along with her song “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” make her a memorable antagonist. The Little Mermaid trailer features several glimpses of McCarthy’s Ursula, and audiences are eager to see her in a more villainous role.
In a recent interview with People, McCarthy revealed what it was like playing Ursula and shared that her perception of the character changed while filming. Read McCarthy’s comments regarding Ursula in The Little Mermaid below:
[Ursula] is just bigger than life. So then to kind of have to live with her for that long and really think about, like, what is she afraid of? What is she insecure about? By the end, I really fell in love with her in such a different way.
What McCarthy Could Bring To The Role Of Ursula
McCarthy is recognizable for her work in comedy and has proven capable of handling different types of humor, starring in Bridesmaids, The Heat, St. Vincent, and other films across the genre. Her comedic talents will likely benefit The Little Mermaid, as Ursula delivers several amusing lines in the animated version, especially when plotting in her lair. McCarthy can tackle a range of emotions, earning an Academy Award nomination for her role in 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?. If The Little Mermaid touches on Ursula’s history at all, the star could also give more of a dramatic performance.
Pat Carroll received praise for voicing Ursula in the original movie, so there may be questions surrounding McCarthy’s depiction ahead of The Little Mermaid‘s release. Back when her casting was announced, some audiences expressed disappointment that the production did not choose a drag queen instead, since the character was inspired by Divine. Marshall has praised McCarthy’s performance, though, explaining that she added layers to the character of Ursula.
Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid is turning into one of the year’s most anticipated films. It will be interesting to see how McCarthy’s Ursula compares to her animated counterpart and if more views on the antagonist change. Those excited about her portrayal can be sure to check out The Little Mermaid when it hits theaters.
The Little Mermaid (1989)