As fans anticipate Halle Bailey starring as The Little Mermaid, the singer is opening up about her audition process. Halle was joined by her big sister Chloe Bailey on the premiere season of Tina Knowles-Lawson’s Facebook Watch showTalks with Mama Tina and she discussed how she felt going into the auditions and ultimately getting the role.
“Getting that role felt very surreal. It was much of a shocker for me,” she said. “Even when I was asked to audition, I looked at it and I was like, 'Me? For Ariel? That just doesn't…’ 'Cause you know, 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.”
Her disbelief in being asked to audition for Ariel continued on as she prepared for the opportunity. She recalled a time that she broke down in tears while running through the lines with her father.
“So even the auditioning process, I remember being so scared and so nervous,” she said. “I think my dad, he one time was like, 'Let's run through the lines.' And I started reading them and I just started sobbing. He's like, 'Halle, what's wrong? What's wrong?' I'm just, 'I can't believe I'm even gonna go for this.'''
While the process of becoming Ariel was shocking, so was the backlash the 21-year-old received after the announcement was made that she would be playing the Disney princess in a live-action film.
Unfortunately, the musician faced an onslaught of hate being a Black woman playing the Disney princess who has historically been viewed as a white woman with red hair.
However, in an 2020 interview with Variety, Halle said she doesn’t let the critics get to her.
“I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity,” she said. “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
We stan an unbothered queen!
Featured image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for MRC