Halle Bailey still can’t believe she was cast as Ariel in the upcoming “Little Mermaid” live-action movie.
Reflecting on the casting decision, Bailey spoke on “Talks with Mama Tina” about the emotional moment.
“Getting that role felt very surreal,” Bailey said. “It was much of a shocker for me. Even when I was asked to audition, I looked at it and I was like, ‘Me? For Ariel?'”
Prior to her casting for the character, the actress was mostly known for her music as part of the duo Chloe x Halle and her role on the television series “Grown-ish”.
She continued, “My image of Ariel that I’ve had is the red hair, the pale skin and the tail, and she was amazing to me. I loved her, like we all did. But that’s what I’ve seen her as for so long.”
The iconic character of the “Little Mermaid” in the 1989 film was voiced by Jodi Benson, but the likeness of the character was based on several young actresses at the time, including Alyssa Milano, according to HuffPost.
“I remember being so scared and so nervous,” The actress said of the audition process. She recalled “sobbing” at one point as she ran through the lines with her dad.
“I’m just like, ‘I can’t believe I’m even gonna go for this,'” she explained.
The emotions didn’t stop at the audition, however, as she found herself close to tears during the filming as well.
“Going into the filming process, I had to learn and say to myself that you can do it and it’s okay, and that my sister is here, and she was. It was just a beautiful experience for me to kind of spread my wings in that way,” she said.
While the audition process was a surprisingly emotional one for the actress, she was just happy she could reinvent the character for a new generation of children.
“But [I’m] so grateful that I kind of get to reinvent Ariel and show other young, beautiful Black and brown children that hey, you can be this too,” she continued. “You are magical and mythical and all of the wonderful things in between as well.”