Melissa McCarthy says living through lockdown helped her identify with her ‘Little Mermaid’ character’s crazed “mental state”.
The ‘Bridesmaids’ actress, 52, plays evil sea witch Ursula in the new live-action remake of Disney’s 1989 ‘The Little Mermaid’ animation and said she has loved the villain for years.
She told The Observer: “Having just gone through Covid, I was like, aha, this is a character who has been in isolation for long enough that she is not in the healthiest mental state.
“I started to love her in a whole new way. And she’s also been alone for years with two eels? She’s not solid on her tentacles, so to speak.”
Melissa used to watch ‘The Little Mermaid’ before bedtime while working as a nanny in New York in the 1990s, and said she always thought: “My God, I’d like to have a drink with Ursula.”
The actress, who has daughter Vivian, 16, and Georgette, 13, with her actor husband of 18 years Ben Falcone, 49, added she despised the race-hate backlash against the new version of ‘The Little Mermaid’ after black actress Halle Bailey, 23, was cast as Ariel.
She said: “I hate any kind of injustice. And people attacking someone for just trying to be who they truly are. What does it matter to them? Do no harm, be kind – if everyone just followed those two rules, we’d be fine.
“Not, ‘You can’t read this book,’ ‘You can’t talk about certain histories.’ I don’t have any patience for all that.”
Melissa added: “Can you imagine if everybody was just kind for one week? The difference would be so unbelievable I don’t even know how it would feel. And the weird thing is, it’s just not that hard to do?”