Halle Bailey Opens Up About Backlash She Received After Being Cast As ‘The Little Mermaid’: It’s Hard To Carry The Weight Of The World On Your Own
Halle Bailey is peeling back the layers on her budding career, and the effects the pressure has had on her.
Singer/actress Halle Bailey recently opened up about her upcoming projects, notably her starring role in the live-action remake of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” During a recent interview, Halle touched on getting the role, paving her own way, and the support her family gave her when critics voiced their dislike of a Black woman playing Ariel. She said,
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be. That reassurance was something that I needed.”
Halle then shared that her older sister Chloe Bailey and her family helped her get through the unwarranted backlash she received when she was cast in the Disney project. “#NotMyAriel” hashtag trended on Twitter the day her casting was announced.
“It’s important to have a strong support system around you. It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own.”
Thankfully, Halle’s grandparents gave her a different way of looking at it, explaining how monumental her casting is and how much it will do for the Black community.
“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you.'”
Halle Bailey also mentioned how her younger self would have felt if the cartoon Ariel she grew up watching was a person of color.
“What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything. Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”
Halle then opened up about filming her roles in “The Little Mermaid” and “The Color Purple,” both coming in 2023 – and how she embodied the characters. She said,
“I find myself learning things from these characters and trying to adopt them and keep them with me as I go about my life. It’s like the universe is trying to give these themes to me, like ‘Here, do it! We’re putting it in through the characters.”
“The Little Mermaid” director Rob Marshall spoke about Halle’s portrayal of Ariel, saying “it was like watching a great film actor being born.” He also credited her for her ability to “be able to dig deep, find the truth of Ariel’s passion and her heart.”
Marshall also gave fans a reason to be excited about her looks in the film, saying “she looks stunning in red hair.”
Halle Bailey admitted that she is ready for people to finally see her acting chops on the big screen, saying she feels like “I’ve lived a whole other life since.” She explained,
“I’ll be in the water busting my ass, crying, screaming, emotionally going to places I’ve never gone, and everybody there on set can congratulate you and say, ‘Yeah, you killed it today, kid,’ — but then you have all this time to wait.”
“I’m grateful for it because it makes me slow down and cherish the moment that I’m living in now. I was talking to my sister about it the other day, because I’m like, ‘I’ve been working so hard. I just want people to see it already, to see what I’ve been putting all my effort into.'”
What do you think about Halle opening up about the backlash when being cast as Ariel? Let us know in the comments!