When Rob Marshall’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” debuts next year, it’ll do so with Melissa McCarthy vamping it up as the villainous sea witch Ursula. McCarthy nabbed the part over Lizzo, the Grammy Award winner who used social media to pitch herself for the “The Little Mermaid” role. One viral video of Lizzo, dressed as Ursula, belting the film’s classic song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” generated over 3 million views on Twitter. As part of her new Variety cover story, Lizzo reflected on auditioning for “The Little Mermaid” and losing out on her chance to play Ursula.
“Everyone knows I auditioned for Ursula in [Disney’s upcoming live-action] ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and I didn’t get it. But you know, I’m fine as hell,” Lizzo said. “That has nothing to do with Ursula, but I was down to make Ursula a THOT, shaking ass.”
Lizzo ended up running into McCarthy during the taping of Adele’s “One Night Only” CBS concert special in Los Angeles, and the two women bonded over their shared Ursula history.
“She was like, ‘Hi, I’m Melissa,'” Lizzo said. “And I was like, ‘Hi, I’m Melissa. And I also auditioned for Ursula.’ And she was like, ‘Well, why the hell did I get the part?,’ which is a classic Melissa McCarthy thing to say. And then I was like, ‘Girl, because my audition was terrible.’ And I say that as Tyler Perry walks by. And I was like — ruined my chances there. And then she goes, ‘This is my daughter Vivian.’ And I’m like, ‘Get out of here, because my name is Melissa Viviane.’ We were looking at each other like, ‘What the hell is going on?'”
Lizzo was only kidding when she told McCarthy that her “Little Mermaid” audition was terrible. As the pop star clarified to Variety, “My audition wasn’t terrible. Sometimes I like to make jokes. My audition was good. You can ask Disney. I don’t want to talk too much about it. The singing was great. I’ll just say that.”
While she won’t appear in “The Little Mermaid,” Lizzo has several new projects on the horizon such as the Amazon reality series “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” and her love-inspired new album.