The Little Mermaid’s tentacled sea-witch Ursula regularly comes near the top of Best Disney Villains rankings. She’s an iconic villain with an iconic song, so back in 2019, fans were keen to know who would be playing this beloved favourite character in the upcoming live-action remake. Fan-casting started in abundance and one of the names frequently mentioned was R&B and hip hop artist Lizzo.
Filming has now completed (after long delays) on The Little Mermaid, which is scheduled for release in May 2023. Halle Bailey plays Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King plays Prince Eric, Javier Bardem plays King Triton and Melissa McCarthy was eventually cast in the coveted role of Ursula.
However, it turns out that Lizzo did, in fact, audition for the role after using social media to pitch herself. She recorded a viral video of herself dressed as Ursula, belting out Poor Unfortunate Souls. Speaking to Variety, Lizzo said; “Everyone knows I auditioned for Ursula in The Little Mermaid and 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.”
Lizzo also recounts bumping into Melissa McCarthy at an Adele concert and it turns out they have plenty in common. Lizzo’s real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson and Melissa McCarthy was at the concert with her daughter Vivian. Melissa asked why she was playing the part and not Lizzo, and Lizzo responded by saying that her audition had been terrible.
Lizzo clarified to Variety that was only a joke, however; “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.”