Lizzo publicly advocated for herself to play the iconic villain Ursula in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and it turns out that she earned herself an actual audition. “I didn’t get it. But you know, I’m fine as hell. That has nothing to do with Ursula, but I was down to make Ursula a THOT, shaking ass,” she told Variety in a cover story published on Feb. 23.
Disney’s vision of Ursula didn’t align with her vision, and Melissa McCarthy landed the part of the evil sea creature. However, the singer took her rejection in stride. She even joked about her audition to McCarthy after running into her at Adele’s One Night Only special taping in November, where she introduced herself by her birth name, which just so happens to be Melissa.
“She was like, ‘Hi, I’m Melissa.’ And I was like, ‘Hi, I’m Melissa. And I also auditioned for Ursula’,” she recalled. “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.”
As if their names and shared desire to play Ursula wasn’t enough of a coincidence, McCarthy introduced her daughter Vivian to Lizzo, and it turns out that the singer shares that name too. “I’m like, ‘Get out of here, because my name is Melissa Viviane’,” she said. “We were looking at each other like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
Lizzo would like to clarify something from their surprise encounter: her Little Mermaid audition was not terrible. “Sometimes I like to make jokes,” she explained. “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.” If Lizzo’s online campaign was any indication, she’s correct about that.
In November 2018, she posted a video on Twitter of herself belting out Ursula’s classic number “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” decked out in the character’s classic blue eye makeup and white up-do. She even colored her skin lavender to match the villain, showing her dedication to the role. The video has received more than 3 million views. Given the amount of remakes that Hollywood produces, it’s never too late for Lizzo to get her rightful turn as Ursula.