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Exclusive: Disney legend wants a drag star to play Ursula in The Little Mermaid remake

“Poor unfortunate souls…”

Speaking exclusively to Gay Times about Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie, legendary composer Alan Menken let slip his dream casting for another live-action reimagining – fairytale classic The Little Mermaid.

“I’ve wanted Harvey,” he giggles when we ask who he’d like to see play delicious baddie Ursula – a role usually played by a female (and conceived for drag legend Divine). “I’ve wanted Harvey Fierstein to play Ursula. I would kill for that!”

Related: 5 drag stars we’d love to see play Ursula in The Little Mermaid remake

Writer and actor Harvey Fierstein originated the role of Edna in Hairspray on Broadway, alongside starring in the same role in NBC’s Hairspray Live! He also penned the book for iconic queer shows La Cage aux Folles, Casa Valentina, Hairspray, Torch Song Trilogy and Disney’s Newsies – a show he worked on with Alan.

Shocked at such a revelation and with us clearly begging for more, Alan reassures us that if it can happen, it will.

“We wanted that, and we would love it in a flash!” he exclaims.

Related: Exclusive: Will Stanley Tucci star in Elton John’s Devil Wears Prada musical?

Since our exclusive went live and other news organisations have begun to report on it, Harvey responded to the casting suggestion.

Writing via his Facebook page, “Oh, Alan, no need to kill anyone. Your wish is my command. As for the rest of you… Oh, you poor unfortunate souls!!!!”

We spoke to Harvey last year during the rehearsal process of Hairspray Live! about working alongside American Music Award-winning star, Ariana Grande.

“She’s huge, but the whole cast is flipping awesome,” he smiles.

“We did some press which is when I properly met Ariana; she’s such a doll-and-a-half. We giggled and we laughed! We sat down to do a table reading, she sat next to me, and when she sang she blew me out of my chair — WOW! When it came to my time to sing, I said calmly, ‘You can all go for coffee now!’”

Related: Exclusive: Harvey Fierstein on working with Ariana Grande and donning the heels again for Hairspray Live

Ariana joins John Legend to sing the official title track of Disney’s current live-action movie Beauty and the Beast.

You can watch our interview with Beauty and the Beast stars Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald and Stanley Tucci below.


Download the latest issue of GT to read our full interview with Alan Menken. Via gtdigi.co.uk.

Beauty and the Beast is out now in UK cinemas. 

 

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