Melissa McCarthy has confirmed that she drew inspiration from drag for her portrayal of Ursula in Disney's upcoming The Little Mermaid.
The live-action The Little Mermaid is slated to release May 26, 2023, and the cast and crew have begun to share more about their experiences making the film.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, McCarthy, the Emmy Award-winning star of Bridesmaids, Mike and Molly, and Spy shared that she "100 percent" used drag to inspire her performance of Ursula. Ursula is the half-squid, half-woman villain of The Little Mermaid, a character beloved in spite of her penchant for evil.
According to Alan Menken, composer for the 1989The Little Mermaid and the upcoming remake, the drag queen Divine served as the inspiration behind the original animated Ursula. Now, 34 years later, McCarthy brings Divine-inspired energy to her live-action version of the iconic sea witch.
McCarthy is no stranger to drag influence and culture. In 2011, she paid tribute to Divine for an Entertainment Weeklycomedy issue cover shoot. And earlier in her career, she performed at New York clubs under the guise of the drag persona "Miss Y." "There's a drag queen that lives in me," McCarthy told EW, "I'm always right on the verge of going full-time with her."
Speaking again of her role in The Little Mermaid, McCarthy shared, "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."
Recently, the star has spoken out against anti-drag and anti-trans legislation efforts in the US, sharing the following image on her Instagram account.
Check out the official trailer for Disney's The Little Mermaid below.
The Little Mermaid | Official Trailerwww.youtube.com