There's so much anticipation built around the live-action remake of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid. Grown-ish star Halle Bailey is leading the pack as Ariel and funny girl Melissa McCarthy will play the villain character of Usula. However, Bailey was almost facing off against another actress. The role of Ursula was heavily coveted by "Truth Hurts" singer Lizzo, and Lizzo is still in her feelings about not scoring the part.
The 33-year-old singer went all out to get the attention of casting directors and producers of the Disney remake, even going as far as posting videos of herself singing in full costume and makeup and tagging Disney in the posts. Ultimately, she landed an audition. But, she didn't get the coveted role. Instead, it went to veteran comedic actress McCarthy.
In a recent interview with Variety, Lizzo, born Melissa Vivian Jefferson, revealed her intentions for the part had she nagged it. "Everyone knows I auditioned for Ursula in The Little Mermaid, and I didn't get it," she said. "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 did run into McCarthy at the taping of Adele's One Night Only CBS concert. Lizzo fondly recalls the meet up. "She was like, 'Hi, I'm Melissa.' 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."
She continued: "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," she added. "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?' "
Looking back, she realized her audition wasn't as bad as she makes it seems. It's just that her comedic timing may have fallen flat. "My audition wasn't terrible. Sometimes I like to make jokes," she clarified. "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."
Grown-ish star Halle Bailey, formerly of Chloe x Halle, is leading the project as Ariel. The release is slated for sometime this year. The film was shot amid the pandemic overseas.