Halle Bailey Praises "The Little Mermaid" Director For Encouraging Her To Incorporate Her Locs Into Leading Role

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The highly anticipated live-action remake of the 1989 film is due out on May 26th, 2023.

After months of waiting, the world has finally gotten its first look at Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. While some were initially shocked at hearing the news that a Black woman had been cast for the part, according to the lead actress, director Rob Marshall encouraged her to embrace the skin – and hair – that she’s in throughout filming.

The “Do It” hitmaker recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly for an interview, during which she revealed how she was able to incorporate parts of herself into the beloved underwater residing redhead. “With Rob, he’s so amazing at just saying, “I see you and I want to bring you into the character,” she shared.

Rob Marshall and Halle Bailey speak onstage during D23 Expo 2022 — Jesse Grant/Getty Images

“It was a beautiful thing. My hair, for example – incorporating my locs into the red hair was something that was really special to me. The outfit, the fins, everything. It’s just amazing. I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to take the essence of me and mix the two,” the 22-year-old added.

Bailey also stated that taking on such a major role has given her a feeling of coming into her own not only as an actress but also as a musician and a woman. “I really felt like I got strong, mentally and physically,” she said.

“I think it was a really good thing for me to do, just in terms of developing into a woman and myself and knowing myself more. I’m more sure of myself after the filming experience, for sure.”

Though we won’t get to see Bailey’s full performance as Ariel until May 26th, 2023, next year is set to be a busy one for her as she’ll also have The Colour Purple premiering around Christmas.

Revisit The Little Mermaid teaser below, and tap back in with HNHH later for more pop culture news updates.