Here's What It's Like To Play A Disney Villain IRL

Ursula from "Once Upon a Time" tells us what you need to know.

Pretty much everyone who grew up during the Disney Renaissance, raised children during the Disney Renaissance, or even heard about the Disney Renaissance is, by now, more than familiar with the likes of Ariel, Belle, Simba, Aladdin, and all of the many treacherous villains who came with them.

Those villains -- and even more classics from the works of the Brothers Grimm, L. Frank Baum and more -- are now brought to our TV screens week after week via "Once Upon a Time," which must be a daunting task for the actors, given the feverish love its fans have for the show... and of course, for Disney in general.

MTV News caught up with one of the show's latest villains, Tiffany Boone's young Ursula, over the phone following Sunday's (March 22) episode "Poor Unfortunate Soul." Boone gave us all the deets on playing a Disney villain in real life -- and of course, some fun facts about the behind the scenes antics on "Once Upon a Time."

Here's what you need to know:

  1. The audition process is top secret.

    "I just had one audition, and it was for the casting directors on tape, then they sent it to the producers. I had no idea it was for Ursula, it was just a random character, because they try to hide the details for 'Once Upon A Time' -- obviously, the fan base needs to be surprised.

    "[My audition] took a similar story. There was a princess, and her father was very hard on her and strict, and her mother had died. He was trying to take away her love of music -- but she played an instrument, she didn’t sing. It was just a random princess. In both [the audition and the show] she was fighting with her father and crying, but they were changing little details so you couldn’t figure out it was Ursula.

    "I just thought, ‘Oh this must be some random character they came up with’... So I went through the script when I got it, and I said to my agent, ‘Oh, my character’s not in here. My character had a different name.’ So she checked, then came back and said, ‘No, you’re young Ursula.’ I freaked out. I’m playing one of the coolest villains in Disney history."

  2. You don't have to stick with the Disney movie for inspiration.

    "They were pretty much just like, ‘We like what you did in your audition, go with that.’ Steve Pearlman who directed -- he’s one of the executive producers -- he coached me along, but I think he liked the take that I had on it for my audition, and didn’t say anything about paying attention to the movie."

  3. The whole crew feels the Disney magic...

    "Going on set I was very nervous... I’m always nervous about meeting the series regulars. I was surprised by how nice everyone was -- every single person I met was so sweet. They seemed like they were so loving their jobs. The whole crew -- everyone was having so much fun.... You can tell that they’ve created this family. I know for us, being guest stars on the show, you just really want to keep up the momentum of the show, you don’t want to bring it down."

  4. ... But Colin O'Donoghue brings the laughs.

    "He’s hilarious. Half of the tweets I’ve gotten actually are about, ‘How is it to work with Colin?’ Colin is a bundle of joy on set. There’s really long hours on that show, and he’s always in a good mood, cracking jokes the whole time, doing impressions, singing. He’s just going all day long. He helps the day go by really quickly, because he has so much energy.

    "He did [an impression of] Christopher Walken in New Orleans. He says this is a real story -- Christopher Walken is in New Orleans, he goes on a ghost tour, and goes to a house, and he walks in and says, ‘Ghosts, I’m here.’ Then he’s quiet waiting for the ghosts to respond, and the ghost doesn’t respond, and Christopher Walken says, ‘Okay, there’s no ghosts’ and walks out. I’m not going to try to do the voice because that’s not going to help anything, but he did a spot-on Christopher Walken impression, with such a ridiculous story."

  5. The on-set magic feels real...

    "They’ve done an amazing job to make it look real. To see it come to life at the end with the extra CGI... they do such a crazy, amazing job with it. And they do such a great job building the sets, that it feels like you’re already there."

  6. ... But it's not real. It's hot tubs.

    "That ship [the Jolly Roger] they really built, but it’s on this whole green screen thing. Then when we were doing the scenes with my father and I, we’re in hot tubs that they built with fake rocks, and a puddle of water in the middle of nowhere."

  7. Pretending to have your legs transform from a tail to tentacles is weird.

    "It was probably midnight by the time they got to that scene, and the director just says, ‘Okay, look down. This is all happening to you. You’re getting these tentacles; it’s ugly and it’s beautiful at the same time. You just feel so powerful.’ So really nothing’s happening, I’m just sitting there in my little fin on the end of a hot tub, imagining what it must look like to have that happen, and how it must feel."

  8. The Disney magic stays with you.

    "It’s totally made me love [Disney] even more. I don’t think it’s even fully processed yet -- I got to play a Disney character! Maybe next time I go to Disneyland, I’ll be like, ‘You guys should let me in for free. I’m not sure if you know, but I played Ursula.'"