Melissa McCarthy On The Inspiration Behind Her Ursula In The Little Mermaid Live-Action Film

Melissa McCarthy looked to her origins performing in New York City under the drag name Miss Y as her inspiration for her Ursula on The Little Mermaid.

“There’s a drag queen that lives in me,” McCarthy told EW in an interview. “I’m always right on the verge of going full-time with her… To keep the humor and the sadness and the edginess to Ursula is everything I want in a character — and frankly, everything I want in a drag queen.”

Alan Menken confirmed to the publication that the animated character was inspired by drag queen Divine.

McCarthy also described her character in a unique way saying, “She’s the villain, but there’s such an edge to her. She’s been put in this lair. It’s like she’s had too many martinis alone. Her friends are eels. 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.’”

The Little Mermaid hits theaters May 26, and is directed by Rob Marshall with a screenplay by David Magee. McCarthy shares the big screen with Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel, and Jonah Hauer-King, who portrays Prince Eric. The cast also includes Javier Bardem as King Triton, along with Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay and Noma Dumezweni, among others.

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