Melissa McCarthy has 'fallen in love' with Ursula ahead of 'Little Mermaid' role (exclusive)
Watch: Melissa McCarthy discusses preparation for The Little Mermaid
Melissa McCarthy has “fallen in love” with The Little Mermaid villain Ursula ahead of playing the role in the upcoming live-action remake.
The 50-year-old star will appear alongside R&B star Halle Bailey as Ariel, with Javier Bardem, Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King and Jacob Tremblay also in the cast.
McCarthy was in the midst of production on director Rob Marshall’s movie when the project was forced to shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more: Alan Menken has finished new Little Mermaid songs
“I'm looking forward to going back whenever that may be,” McCarthy told Yahoo Movies UK in an interview to promote new comedy Superintelligence.
She added: “The whole process with Rob Marshall has just been amazing. It's such a juicy, great part. I can't wait.
“I've kind of fallen in love with her. I have seen The Little Mermaid like nine billion times, strangely, so to get to play Ursula was like a dream come true.”
Read more: Who is new Little Mermaid leading lady Halle Bailey?
Originally voiced by Emmy and Grammy winner Pat Carroll in the 1989 animation, Ursula is one of the most memorable villains in the Disney canon.
The character is considered an icon for body positivity and has been embraced by the LGBT+ community, partially due to the fact her look was inspired by famous actor and drag queen Divine.
Superintelligence stars McCarthy as Carol Peters, who is chosen by the titular AI — voice by James Corden — as an example of a normal human being to observe in order to decide whether to destroy humanity.
The movie is McCarthy’s fourth to be directed by her husband, Ben Falcone.
“It’s my favourite [to work with Ben],” says McCarthy. “When you keep working with the same people, there’s usually a reason.“
Read more: McCarthy spoofs The Favourite with Oscars dress
The cast of Superintelligence also includes Bobby Cannavale and Brian Tyree Henry, with Falcone popping up in a small, supporting role.
The Little Mermaid does not currently have a release date set on the schedule. Superintelligence is released in UK cinemas from 11 December.
Watch: Norwegian make-up artist becomes Ursula from Little Mermaid