Lizzo Reveals The Nice Exchange She Had With Melissa McCarthy After Losing The Little Mermaid’s Ursula Role To Her

Lizzo in "Rumors" music video and Melissa McCarthy in Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers
(Image credit: Atlantic Records/Hulu)

Before the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid was even officially a thing, there were ongoing debates on who should play which characters, including through fan campaigns and ones by stars for certain roles. While she was initially pushed by fans, pop star Lizzo took matters into her own hands. The “Truth Hurts” singer made a case for herself as Ursula by posting a video of herself singing the Disney villain’s signature tune “Poor Unfortunate Souls” made up as the character. While she got an audition with the House of Mouse, things didn’t end up working out as Melissa McCarthy scored the role as the voluptuous sea witch, but the two women have since shared a sweet exchange.

Despite vying for the Ursula role, the rapper and McCarthy didn’t officially meet until they ran into each other at the taping for pop superstar Adele’s CBS special One Night Only. While at the taping, the two women had a nice conversation. The multifaceted music star and the actress found out they had more in common than auditioning for the same role. Lizzo laid out to Variety how their conversation turned from causal to surprisingly eerie:

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. 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. 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?’

Talk about a star-studded event! Imagine telling Melissa McCarthy your audition was awful as Tyler Perry walked by. At least the two women could bond over their commonalities, no matter how awkward it was. Of course, Lizzo was just saying her audition was terrible in jest. In the same interview, the Grammy-winning star cleared up the air about how things played out with Disney.

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.

At least Lizzo gave her all despite her initial claims stating otherwise. Her viral TikTok video showed she had the skills to pull off the popular villainess. But that wasn’t the only live-action Disney adaptation the Grammy winner was aiming for. A fan felt the plus-sized pop star would be great to play one of the Muses, Terpsichore, for the live-action Hercules remake, which the musician completely agreed about. It seems like she is ready to make the full crossover to film after her role in Hustlers.

While fans wait for Lizzo’s big-screen return, viewers will have to wait a bit to see how Melissa McCarthy does as Ursula. The Little Mermaid won’t arrive in theaters until May 26, 2023. The live-action remake is just on many upcoming Disney movies expected to premiere over the next few years. In the meantime, you can catch up on some quick things about the live-action remake, as well as peek at what films are coming in 2022 by looking over our movie schedule during the long wait.  

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).