US singer and actress Halle Bailey arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on May 8, 2023. -
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Last updated: 59 minutes ago
Hollywood Boulevard looked as if it took a dive under the sea as Disney rolled out the blue carpet for the world premiere of "The Little Mermaid" on Monday (8 May).
The 2023 film is a live adaptation of the 1989 animated movie. This new version stars actor and recording artist Halle Bailey who is making Disney history as the first-ever Black version of Ariel.
"This moment, especially for the beautiful babies to be able to see a reflection of themselves. I am just honoured to be a part of this and be one of the princesses now because for me, it was Brandy as Cinderella and Anika Rose as Princess Tiana," said Bailey, "So, the fact that I'm getting to continue this and live on this kind of legacy is really exciting and I'm just grateful," she added.
For John DeLuca, producer and Rob Marshall, director casting the actress fell into sense:
"We chose her because she was the best for the role," DeLuca said.
Marshall added: "[...] We leaned into the mythology for, like, the seven sisters. We made them from the seven seas Triton's daughters."
"And it just lent itself very naturally to a global experience and a global casting. And it just felt so right. I mean, we've done it our whole careers anyway, so it was just natural. But it didn't feel pushed or "woke" or put on. It just felt very natural for the story."
Jodie Benson, who voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated film, praised Bailey's performance of the classic song "Part of Your World."
"I'm just so thrilled at how Halle has taken her beauty to this song, her interpretation to the song, but it's still pure of heart. And she's really captured the essence of who Ariel is. And I'm so very, very proud of her," she said.
"The Little Mermaid" premieres in theatres on May 26, 2023. It also stars Javier Bardem, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs and Jacob Tremblay.