While Beauty and the Beast is providing McDonald the chance to show off her incredible vocal range to the mainstream by playing Madame de Garderobe, McDonald said that if she gets her way she would eventually portray one of the greatest Disney villains of all time.
“If they made a live-action Little Mermaid, I’d want to be Ursula,” she said. “That would be fun role to play. I would love that. If there’s a hat, I’ll catapult my name into it however I possibly can.”
In The Little Mermaid, the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale was given the name Ursula, as well as an unforgettable personality that quickly transformed her into iconic role. Originally voiced by Pat Carroll, Ursula successfully struck a balance between her humorous qualities and her truly villainous ambitions. There are times in that film when Ursula is actually quite threatening, and yet fans love her.
Clearly, McDonald is one of those fans. McDonald also revealed why she is so attracted to the idea of playing Ursula.
“I just think she’s fantastic, and maybe it’s because when that movie first came out I was at school at Juilliard, and my voice teacher looked a lot like Ursula in human form,” she joked. “Ursula is a sea witch who has all kinds of sass and is trying to steal this girl’s voice. That meant a lot to me.”
While Disney is reportedly developing a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, the project doesn’t currently have a greenlight. (And while we don’t have a vote in the casting we certainly think that McDonald could very easily pull off an amazing cover of “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”)
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belles eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017 and currently has a 3.31-of-5 rating in the ComicBook User Anticipating Ratings.
-- Blair Marnell is a freelance writer for ComicBook.com. Follow him on Twitter for more of his insights.