Halle Bailey, who stars as Ariel in the live-action film adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, auditioned for the role when she was 18 and will be 23 when the film premieres in May. Speaking to Edition Modern Luxury, she says portraying Ariel has “helped me grow up.”
“I feel like I learned so much through her,” says Halle of playing Ariel. “I pushed myself as far as I’ve ever pushed myself in life. And I feel like the message from her was to know that you’ve always had it in you.”
When The Little Mermaid trailer dropped, Halle’s Ariel received much praise for her dreadlocked, brown-skinned representation of a Disney princess, which she says “was definitely a shock.” When the film premieres, however, fans will also notice Halle’s Ariel has a lot more depth than previous versions.
“I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” Halle says. “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants.
“As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above,” she continues. “And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Halle discussed her upcoming role in The Color Purple, for which her real-life sister helped her prepare.
“My sister, Chlöe, she’s my angel, she’s my world. She’s my hero, my big sister, she’s my inspiration,” Halle explained. “So taking on this role, I was really excited to do it because I got to play the little sister and build off this relationship of two people loving each other.”
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