"Maleficent" is one of Disney’s best live action adaptions so far, and “Cruella” will be another successful adaptation with Emma Stone leading as the fur coat wearing villain. What makes these films so appealing is their anti-hero narrative that shifts the classic storyline we cherish into an intimate back story for why a character is a ‘villain.’ One character who needs to have her story told is Disney’s Ursela. Here are 10 actresses who could lead as the sea witch.
1. Lea DeLaria
This actress already has a sleek and cliché hairstyle that is similar to the Disney villain. DeLaria delivers an outspoken personality and sharp wit to Big Boo on "Orange is the New Black." The actress is also a wonderful jazz singer, which could be a great addition to the film's soundtrack. Having DeLaria play Ursula would not be a stretch from how the actress already presents herself to audiences.
2. Kat Dennings
There's no denying that Kat Dennings would be an enjoyable Ursula to watch. She has a look that is comparable to classic Hollywood actresses, and a modern charm that would make her performance timeless. The actress always looks stunning in a black dress and red lipstick, which would make it easy for her to pull off the octopus attire. Not to mention the "2 Broke Girls" actress is full of humor, so Disney may want to squeeze in a few sea creature jokes.
3. Laverne Cox
Elsa from "Frozen" may or may not get a female love interest in the future, but what if Ursula's backstory highlighted sexuality and gender identity? Laverne Cox is a compelling actress and an LGBT advocate, like fellow costar Lea DeLaria. It is fair to say that any actress could follow the narrative of self-discovery, but Laverne Cox promotes the narrative with excellence.
4. Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates is an expert of playing the villain in television and film. Whether you know from "American Horror Story" or "Misery," Bates gives a high level of intensity to any cruel role you cast her in. Ursula's backstory could be told from her earliest days of knowing King Triton or from after meeting Ariel. No matter what the time frame may be, Kathy Bates will work her magic to be the worst sea witch of them all.
5. Busy Phillips
The "Freaks and Geeks" cast member can act revengeful on cue with a snarl on her face. Busy Phillip's character Kim Kelly was a regular on the show that transformed from a bully, to a good friend to have. Phillips is incredible at showing quick mood changes through facial expressions and fluctuations in her voice, which is necessary for Ursula's temperament. This actress would make a ruthless Ursula that would leave audiences on the edge of their seat.
6. Molly Tarlov
"Awkward" star may not currently be a face in Hollywood that everyone knows, but Ursula could be her breakout role. Molly Tarlov can be super catty on screen while playing the mean girl, Sadie Saxton. If the film were to revolve around Ursula's younger years into becoming a sea witch, then Molly Tarlov could bring the drama within a snap of a tentacle.
7. Lucy Punch
Viewers can't forget Lucy Punch's devious intentions and crazy wide eyes glares in "Bad Teacher." The actresses developed character, Amy Squirrel into a sly, yet melodramatic antagonist that made audiences laugh. Ursula could have another cruel scheme to rule the ocean, but could face hilarious quirks that prevent her from being successful. Lucy Punch could make audiences attached to Ursula for her amusing take on the character.
This singer is rumored to be starting her acting career in upcoming film, "The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan." Adele soon could be receiving more opportunities to pursue acting and leading as Ursula should be one of them. The singer could belt a haunting rendition of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" if the adaptation included musical numbers. If Adele does decide to become an actress, then Ursula could be her best role.
9. Aubrey Plaza
Recently the actress has been in many films and her acting career hasn't even reached its peak yet. Aubrey Plaza's apathetic tone used on "Park and Recreation" could add a new dimension to how Ursula became evil. If Ursula were to transform from a reserved ocean dweller into a force to be reckoned with, then Plaza would succeed in shaping the narrative.
10. Juliette Lewis
Some of Juliette Lewis's best roles embody fearlessness and vulnerability. Ursula backstory obviously needs depth for audiences to feel engaged, which this actress has done in many films. "Natural Born Killers," "The Evening Star" and "August: Osage County," are just a few movies audiences love her for. Lewis has proven to viewers that she can be unpredictable through her roles and maybe that's an element Ursula needs.
Honorable Mention: Rebel Wilson
Although this actress has already been Ursula at the Hollywood Bowl, audiences may want her to reprise the role in a live action movie. She can already do the mermaid dance and sing any musical number. Her Australian accent could shift the narrative to focus on coastlines and bodies of water that are not directly specified in "The Little Mermaid." If fans loved her performance at the Hollywood Bowl, then Disney should consider Rebel Wilson as a choice.