Halle Bailey On The Cultural Impact Playing Ariel In ‘The Little Mermaid’: “It Means The World To Me”

Halle Bailey is making a splash as the star of The Little Mermaid and during the Hollywood premiere of the Disney film she opened up about finally having audiences see her as Ariel on the big screen.

“This moment means everything to me, I’m so grateful to be here,” she said. “I just feel really honored and I’m happy the day has finally come where we can all watch it.”

When the trailer for the live-action film was released, reactions to Bailey as Ariel became a trend on social media. For Bailey, the cultural impact the film will have on the young people of color is important and something that she experienced growing up.

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“It means the world to me, especially for the beautiful babies to be able to see a reflection of themselves,” she added. “I am just honored to be a part of this and be one of the princesses now because for me it was Brandi as Cinderella and then Anika Rose as Princess Tiana. So the fact that I am getting to continue this and live on this legacy is really exciting and I’m just grateful.”

Watch Bailey at the premiere in the video posted below.

Jacob Tremblay, who voices Flounder in the film, said he was “excited” to have people watch The Little Mermaid. The actor also talked about meeting Bailey for the first time.

“When I went to record, I was there with pretty much the whole cast, and we got to hear [Bailey] sing and it was really, really cool and she’s amazing,” Tremblay said.

Jodi Benson, the actor that voiced the animated version of The Little Mermaid, was also at the premiere and talked about speaking to Bailey.

The Little Mermaid opens in theaters May 26, and is directed by Rob Marshall with a screenplay by David Magee. The cast also includes Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Javier Bardem as King Triton, along with Noma Dumezweni, Art Malik, Lorena Andrea, Simone Ashley, Kajsa Mohammar, Nathalie Sorrell, Karolina Conchet, Sienna King, among others.

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