Melissa McCarthy: Ursula was inspired by Drag Queens

“There’s a drag queen living inside of me,” McCarthy said. “I’m still about to go full time with her.”

Rob Marshall’s upcoming reimagining of “The Little Mermaid” looks set to be one of Disney’s biggest live-action remakes in years. From Halle Bailey’s jaw-dropping rendition of “Part of Your World” to Lin-Manuel Miranda teaming up with Alan Menken to write new music, Disney fans have had plenty to be excited about. be excited about the movie.

Of course, another big selling point is the inspired casting of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, McCarthy explained that her approach to playing the notorious campy villain was shaped by her lifelong interest in drag as an art form.

“She’s the bad guy, but she has such an edge,” McCarthy said of Ursula. “She was put in this lair. It’s like she’s had too many martinis on her own. Its friends are the eels. It was a woman who saw it, who took part in it, who got away with it. All of my references are terrible, but I kept thinking, “A lot of Pall Mall got this woman.”

McCarthy said she sees the opportunity to play Ursula as the culmination of a lifetime of drag-inspired performances, dating back to her beginnings in New York clubs as drag Miss Y.

“There’s a drag queen living inside of me,” McCarthy said. “I’m still about to go full time with her…Keeping Ursula’s humor and sadness and nervousness is all I want in a character – and frankly, all I want in a drag queen.”

In addition to McCarthy, “The Little Mermaid” stars Halle Bailey, Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs and Jonah Hauer-King. The film’s official synopsis reads: “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and fiery young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest and most defiant of King Triton’s daughters, Ariel longs to learn more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls in love with the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the wicked sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to live on land but ultimately puts her life – and her father’s crown – in danger.

“The Little Mermaid” opens in theaters Friday, May 26.

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