Queen Latifah Opens Up About Playing Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid Live!'

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Queen Latifah
Jim Spellman/FilmMagic

Queen Latifah is sharing some details about the upcoming TV musical The Little Mermaid Live! -- and her villainous role!

The rapper and actress was on her way into the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, where ET's Keltie Knight caught up with her to discuss playing the villainous Ursula in the TV event.

"It's just been something that we've been working on for a while. It was perfect timing that it came together," she shared. "I'm so excited to play Ursula. I can't wait to see what spin Hamish [Hamilton, the musical's director] helps me put on this character."

Shaggy and Auli'i Cravalho are also joining the Little Mermaid Live! cast as Sebastian and Ariel, respectively. 

The 49-year-old performer also gave a shout-out to Melissa McCarthy, who is rumored to be playing the sea witch in the upcoming live-action, big-screen adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

"I'm excited for Melissa McCarthy as well," Latifah said. "So, I know there's a lot of confusion but I love her, God bless her and we can definitely do a duet."

Later, she addressed McCarthy directly: "You know, we got rhymes for you. I'll do the singing, you do the rhyming."

Latifah also shared her excitement that her pal, Missy Elliott, received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year's ceremony.

"I'm so excited for her to be awarded tonight," the Hollywood veteran gushed. "She deserves it. She's one of the best writers, producers, entertainers that we have known in our generation, so I'm so excited that she's getting honored tonight."

In late June, ET learned that McCarthy is in talks to join the film's cast, which also includes Halle Bailey as Ariel. However, when speaking with the actress at the premiere for her new film, The Kitchen, she played coy about the casting news.

"Who's Ursula?" McCarthy said, feigning ignorance but with a knowing look. "But am I interested? I'm very interested," she quickly added, before overtly winking to the camera several times with a sly smile.

The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live! will air Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

See loads more details from the 2019 MTV VMAs below.

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