The Little Mermaid's Melissa McCarthy says drag queens inspired her role as Ursula
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Melissa McCarthy has said she was inspired by drag queens for her role as Ursula in the forthcoming The Little Mermaid movie.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, McCarthy opened up about how she secured the role, saying she knew she would ‘regret it forever’ if she didn’t get it.
"I literally was like, 'Please, please, please! I'll bring craft services. I make a great chicken salad, hummus. I can bring snacks,’” she said.
"I don't know what lunacy went through my head, because I'm not known as a singer, but I just have always been so strangely in love with Ursula that I thought I can try and lose, but if I don't at least try for it, I'll regret it forever."
McCarthy said she turned to the drag queen community for inspiration, continuing: "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 her."
She added: "There’s a drag queen that lives in me. 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."
Ironically, when McCarthy was announced as Ursula, many fans felt the casting was a bad decision - saying the role should have gone to a drag queen, as Ursula’s original design in the 1989 animated feature was inspired by actor and drag queen Divine.
"Melissa McCarthy as Ursula when the world is full of drag queens?" one tweeted at the time.
Another said: "Something about Melissa McCarthy being casted for the role of Ursula don't sit right with me."
A third wrote: "Melissa McCarthy?? Nooooo, Ursula must be played by a drag queen!"
A fourth added: "While I love Melissa McCarthy, an Ursula in drag would have been *chefs kiss*."
The Little Mermaid is set to be released in cinemas on 26 May.