The 22-year-old is making history as the first Black actor to play Ariel. Also, the second she got the crown of a Disney princess with her role in the forthcoming live-action film. She’s well aware of the responsibility that comes with that.
For Halle Bailey, starring as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” isn’t just another box to check off her list of accomplishments — it’s much bigger than that.
Bailey was first introduced to the world as one-half of the four-time Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle alongside her older sister, Chlöe. However, the two have since branched out on their own, with Chlöe focusing on her solo music career and Bailey making her mark on Hollywood.
Halle Bailey has had to deal with a lot since being cast in The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey can’t wait for audiences to see the new live-action “The Little Mermaid” and is unfazed by naysayers.
In a new interview with The Face published on Thursday. The singer and actor said that the backlash that arose when news broke of her being cast as mermaid Ariel. Again when the first glimpse of her in the role of director was revealed last fall — was not surprising.
“As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not a shock anymore,” the Grammy nominee said.
“People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community,” she shared. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”
To that point, Bailey also mentioned that after the teaser dropped, when parents started sharing videos of their Black daughters marvelling at Bailey as Ariel, she stared at them “in disbelief.”
”It makes me feel more grateful for where I am,” she said.
The rising star also credited the “Little Mermaid” filmmakers with allowing her authentic identity to be a part of this new iteration of the aquatic Disney princess, specifically about her hair.
”As a Black woman, hair is spiritual, especially locs,” Bailey said. Also mentioning that a significant portion of prep time on set she devoted to analysing how her hair moved in the water.
How did HALLE BAILEY get the role Of ARIEL?
The film’s director Rob Marshall recounted to Variety(opens in new tab) that he first spotted Halle at the 2019 Grammy’s.
He was instantly ‘enraptured’ by her voice. So he swiftly asked her to audition for the Disney film. She sang Ariel’s iconic ‘Part of Your World’ ballad and the rest was history!
He said: “When she finished, I was in tears because she’s so soulful. You could tell right away that she was able to harness Ariel’s passion. As her fire, her soul, her joy and her heart.”
So lets Speak about the role itself and the importance of representation. Halle is only the second black actress to portray a Disney princess. The other is Anika Noni Rose who plays Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. She said: “I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special and that they should be a princess in every single way. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be.
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