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H.E.R. on playing Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ special: ‘I never thought I could be a Disney princess’


ABC/Christopher Willard

H.E.R. says it’s a “dream come true” to play Belle in the upcoming live-action special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.

The award-winning singer, who is the first Black and Filipina woman to play Belle on screen, discussed how excited she was to take on the role and celebrate the “iconic” film.

“I never thought I could be a Disney princess,” she said Wednesday on Good Morning America. “Of course every little girl wants to be a Disney princess, but I’ve never seen one that looks like me — so I get to be that to little girls now.”

“And that’s such a huge deal on top of being a producer on Beauty and the Beast, which is crazy,” she continued. “I got to do a lot of the new arrangements and work with Alan Menken, the original arranger and producer. It’s been an amazing experience just learning so much about myself and it’s been a lot of fun, honestly.”

She added, “Being a Disney princess is fun!”

H.E.R. admits she was shocked she got the role.

“Immediately I was like, ‘I get to wear the yellow dress!'” she said. “I have to wear the yellow dress — that’s going to be the moment … but I was so excited. I got to unlock a new thing within myself and that’s why I say the timing is so great.”

“My inner Disney princess, which I think is this fearless and joyful and just strong and kind of brave thing within myself, I’m finding,” she added. “It’s been a crazy, wonderful experience.”

H.E.R. joins a star-studded cast including Shania TwainJosh GrobanMartin ShortJoshua HenryDavid Alan Grier and Rita Moreno for the television event, which will air on ABC December 15 and on Disney+ the next day.

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