Halle Bailey: ‘Playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid is a dream come true’

Halle Bailey couldn’t be more excited about playing Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.The 19-year-old hit headlines in July when it was announced she would be the leading lady in the reboot of the 1989 animated musical, as soci…

Halle Bailey couldn’t be more excited about playing Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

The 19-year-old hit headlines in July when it was announced she would be the leading lady in the reboot of the 1989 animated musical, as social media users were divided about her casting, with some praising the news and others expressing outrage over an African-American playing the traditionally Caucasian character.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, the singer gushed that she’s “honoured” to have landed the part.

“It means so much to me… I feel very honoured and really grateful for the opportunity,” she shared. “Ariel was one of my favourite princesses growing up so it’s a dream come true. I’m very excited and happy.”

The teenager added she’s looking forward to singing Ariel’s power ballad Part of Your World, and also promised that the project is going to be “amazing and beautiful”.

It has been rumoured that One Direction’s Harry Styles will play Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric, but Halle remained coy when asked about the actors in the running for the part.

“Oh, I don’t mind. I think that anyone would be great for it,” the R&B star commented.

Elsewhere, Halle’s 21-year-old sister Chloe, with whom she forms musical duo Chloe x Halle, said she was “so proud” of her sibling and “can’t wait” to see her performance.

In Rob Marshall’s reboot, Halle will be joined by Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina and Room actor Jacob Tremblay, who are set to portray seagull Scuttle and fish Flounder, respectively, while Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy are rumoured to be playing King Triton and sea witch Ursula.

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Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid

R&B singer Halle Bailey is set to make her feature film acting debut as the star of Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake. The Chloe x Halle bandmember, who is signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment record label, will help to bring Ariel to life onsc…

R&B singer Halle Bailey is set to make her feature film acting debut as the star of Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake.

The Chloe x Halle bandmember, who is signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment record label, will help to bring Ariel to life onscreen for director Rob Marshall’s live-action adaptation, a revamp of the 1989 animated classic.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance – plus a glorious singing voice – all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” Marshall shares in a statement.

Bailey’s casting is the first to be officially announced for the project, with Melissa McCarthy in talks to portray villainous sea witch Ursula, while The Room star Jacob Tremblay and Crazy Rich Asians’ Awkwafina are also reportedly in negotiations to voice tropical fish Flounder and seagull Scuttle, respectively.

The Little Mermaid, about an underwater princess who falls in love with a human prince, will feature many of the original songs from the beloved film, while composer Alan Menken will also be teaming up with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to create a few new tunes for the soundtrack.

Miranda will also serve as a producer on the film, alongside his Mary Poppins Returns director Marshall.

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