Disney has finally found the star who will be the playing titular role for its live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” — 19-year-old actress-singer Halle Bailey will officially takes on the role of Ariel.
“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,” director Rob Marchall told Variety.
dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
So who exactly is this young woman and can she deliver the iconic role that we’re all so in love with?
Well, here are 5 fun facts about Halle Bailey that will convince you that she can definitely play the part!
She is part of the music duo, Chloe x Halle
One thing that Princess Ariel is known for is her singing voice, and voice actress Jodi Benson certainly did a great job at delivering both speaking and the singing voice of Ariel in the 1989’s animation movie, making the classic tune “Part of Your World” so iconic and loveable.
But Halle is certainly no stranger to music, she is after all part of an R&B group called Chloe x Halle, alongside her sister Chloe Bailey, 21. Also, this won’t be the first time Halle sings for Disney. The single “Warrior” from the duo’s debut album “The Kids Are Alright” was featured on the soundtrack for Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”.
They are Beyonce’s proteges
It is without a doubt that these sisters can definitely carry a tune because their mentor is none other than R&B queen, Beyonce! That’s right, the sisters gained Queen Bey’s attention after covering the song “Pretty Hurts” — and this immediately land them a spot in Beyonce’s music label.
Chloe x Halle went on to become Beyoncé’s opening act during her Formation World Tour during her European leg of the tour, as well as her and Jay-Z’s On the Run II Tour in 2018. The sisters also starred in the video short, “Beyoncé: All Night.”
Halle and her sister star in “Grown-ish”
Halle may seem like a new name in Hollywood, but she’s actually not a newcomer in the entertainment industry. The Bailey sisters have been acting since they were very young, though Chloe has had more acting roles back then.
Halle earned her first ever acting credit in Queen Latifah’s 2007 comedy, “Last Holiday”. She and her sister are also the stars of Freeform series “Grown-ish”, a spin-off of ABC’s “Black-ish”. Though they are not the same age, the sisters portray track star twins Skylar and Jazlyn in the series.
Chloe x Halle are Grammy nominees
Throughout their singing career, Chloe x Halle has been nominated for various awards including Best Urban Contemporary Album for their debut album “The Kids Are All Right” and Best New Artist at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.
The sisters were also nominated in BET Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and Soul Train Awards in 2018 for Best New Artist, Best Push Artist, and Album Of the Year.
The 2nd coloured person to play a white princess
In case you needed a reminder… Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey pic.twitter.com/z0Rik2nxRe
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 3, 2019
The casting of Halle as Ariel is certainly a huge improvement for the coloured representation in Hollywood. Even before she was cast, it would seem that Disney has already intended to have a woman of colour playing the titular role. Previously, it was speculated that Zendaya will be playing the role.
Nevertheless, many people are happy with Disney’s choice as this is a huge step for the African American community. Plenty of black celebrities such as Halle Berry, Chrissy Teigen, Jordin Sparks, Normani, Willow Smith, and even Zendaya herself, have congratulated Halle for landing the role.
Brandy was the first black girl to be a princess in live action Disney movie. Halle Bailey is now only the second. We need more of this representation. Congrats to Halle Bailey on her role as Ariel! 😍🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/oNk1Dbc4vm
— Black Culture News (@blackculturenew) July 3, 2019
Furthermore, Halle will be the second black actress to play a traditionally white princess character in one of Disney’s live-action remakes after Brandy’s role in 1997 “Cinderella”.
Halle Bailey will be joining a cast that includes Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle, while Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula. Production on “The Little Mermaid” is expected to begin in early 2020.