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19th Apr 2023

Melissa McCarthy says drag queens inspired her role as Ursula in The Little Mermaid

Clodagh McKeon

“There’s a drag queen that lives in me”

The live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is due to premiere in just a number of weeks, on May 26th.

It stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as the Prince, Simone Ashley plays Indira and Melissa McCarthy as the evil witch Ursula.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Bridesmaids actress opened up about playing the character in the highly anticipated movie.

She said she took a lot of inspiration from drag queens when taking on the new role.

McCarthy said there was a drag queen living inside her and that it felt right to show that on screen.

She said: “I’m a huge, huge fan of drag shows and the whole art of it and the entertainment of it.

“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 the drag queen in me.

“The humour, the sadness and the edginess to Ursula is everything I want in a character and everything I want in a drag queen.”

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Ironically, when it was announced that Melissa had the part of Ursula, fans questioned if she was suitable for the role.

The original design for Ursula took inspiration from a drag queen named Divine.

However, Melissa has shared how delighted she was to play Ursula and said she was on the verge of begging casting directors for the role.

In the interview, she joked and said she would “bring snacks” to set every day in hopes they gave her the role.

The Little Mermaid doll was recently shared and is based on star Halle Bailey. The doll looks identical to the actress and even has the same mole she does.

The original The Little Mermaid movie, starring Jodi Benson as Ariel, grossed over $84 million at the box office.

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