Per Entertainment Weekly, Merrin Dungey is about to make her way under the sea as Once Upon a Time's latest villain, The Little Mermaid's Ursula. The role is said to be a recurring one.
This news has us excited for two reasons: 1. We can't stop singing "Under the Sea," and it's very hard to not be joyful when you're singing lyrics like, "Darlin', it's better down where it's wetter." 2. There's barely a TV show that Dungey hasn't been on (you will require some vacation days to actually make it through her list of credits on IMDb), so we've seen her chops in varied roles and we like what we've seen.
Here are seven characters Dungey has played in other television appearances, all of which point to reasons you should be excited to have her as part of your world (and if you picked up what I did there, then please make yourself a part of my world immediately).
Purely by virtue of the fact that Dungey did a guest spot on a show with revenge being its central theme, she is clearly perfect to play Ursula. We see her turn on Revenge as a nice little internship, making her ripe to bring the fury as Ursula.
Dungey played Sydney Bristow's best friend, Francie, and a Francie doppelgänger named Allison, who ended up killing Francie, assuming her identity and adding to her murder quota. What can we take from this? Dungey can play a sadistic badass really, really well, so Ursula is in capable hands. She can also pull off a fight scene like nobody's business. Ninja Ursula, anyone?
Remember those two episodes of Grey's where Addison drove to Los Angeles, California, to kick off the premise of Private Practice? Remember how Dr. Naomi Bennett looked different in Private Practice than she did in the two Grey's Anatomy episodes? Yeah, that's because Dungey was replaced by Audra McDonald when Private Practice got started. Don't get us wrong; we love Audra, and we loved her as Naomi. But it's Dungey's time to shine and playing a sea witch would seem the perfect opportunity for her to do some of that shining.
Anytime someone is on a show with a Full House alum, that someone should become 100 percent more relevant in your life. When that someone is on a show with a Full House alum and Jesse McCartney, that person is obviously human gold, and you need to be keeping up with what they're doing. It's true that Summerland wasn't critically acclaimed, or really acclaimed at all, but Dungey managed to stand out on a show where the Lori Loughlin and Jesse McCartney of it all were the main draws, so she will most definitely stand out on OUAT. Oh, and I forgot Zac Efron was on this show. Awkward.
Dungey's value to OUAT as a result of playing a doctor on Chasing Life is best illustrated by a quote from Chasing Life's executive producer, Patrick Sean Smith. "[Dr. Susan Hamburg] is a firecracker of an oncologist who sees cancer as the enemy, and she's going to kill the bastard," he said. Firecracker? Enemy? Killing? Sure, they're all in different contexts to that of Ursula, but still, they're all things that are right up her alley.
You guys, Dungey is essentially the reason Monica and Chandler got married. That voice on the answering machine in this clip? It's her! If this character didn't exist, then Chandler wouldn't have freaked out before realizing he wanted to marry Monica, kick-starting a whole series of events that ultimately led to Monica proposing to Chandler. She's basically responsible for one of the show's most pivotal moments, leading us to believe she'll be perfect at instigating some big things on OUAT.
OK, so her character was totally inconsequential and a show about upstanding good guys and gals who genuinely want to help people really doesn't seem to offer much in the way of preparation to play someone as villainous as Ursula. I just wanted to point out that Dungey was on this show, and is, therefore, winning at life.
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