Lizzo has reflected on her failed audition for Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” and losing out on the chance to play iconic villain Ursula to comic actor Melissa McCarthy.
Speaking to Variety, she said: “Everyone knows I auditioned 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, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, added that she chatted with McCarthy, 51, while at the Los Angeles taping of Adele’s One Night Only CBS concert: “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.”
Lizzo told McCarthy that her audition for The Little Mermaid was “terrible” just as actor Tyler Perry walked past, which “ruined [her] chances” with him, the singer joked. “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 explained later that she was only joking when she referred to her audition as “terrible”.
“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,” she said.
The Grammy Award winner used social media to pitch herself for the “The Little Mermaid” role in 2018. One viral video of Lizzo, dressed as Ursula, belting the film’s classic song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” generated over 3 million views on Twitter.
— LIZZOOOOO (@lizzo)
McCarthy’s Ursula will be Ariel’s aunt, the sister of the sea god Triton. The storyline dates back to the original animated film but was scrapped for the final edit.
The Disney remake will be released on May 26, 2023, and stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle, and Room actor Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s fish friend Flounder. Jonah Hauer-King is playing heartthrob Prince Eric, Javier Bardem is King Triton, and Hamilton star Daveed Diggs will be portraying Sebastian the crab.