With the release of a Disney remake of “The Little Mermaid” on the horizon, Halle Bailey is opening up about getting over her nerves over starring in the movie.
The singer – who plays Ariel in the upcoming remake of the beloved 1989 cartoon – has been the target of a racist backlash after it was announced that a black actor would play the red-haired mermaid princess.
In an interview with And the! News On Tuesday, Bailey shared how she learned to deal with the pressure of portraying such an iconic character in the Disney franchise.
“I don’t feel any pressure anymore,” the Chloe x Halle member told the outlet when asked about starring as the titular character. “I think before I started shooting, I naturally got a little nervous because the movie is so important to so many people.”
She said she was able to stave off her anxiety with the help of her close friends and family, including her sister, Chloe Bailey.
“I just rely on them and know I’m just giving it 100 percent,” Bailey said. “I did my best, it’s all I could do. I’m really grateful to see it all happen.”
Bailey said she’s excited to introduce Ariel to a new generation. What “touches [her] What was most about the role, she said, was watching the children’s reactions to her performance of “Part of Your World” since its release in September.
“It just makes me cry,” said the Grammy nominee. “The fact that all these little black and brown kids would be able to feel like actors is really special to me. I know if I had that when I was younger, it would have changed a lot for me and my perspective on who I am as an individual.”
Bailey was cast in the role in 2019. Talk to diverse That year, she came out candid about the backlash she experienced, saying she was unfazed by the internet trolls.
“I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful. I don’t care about negativity,” she said at the time. “I just feel like this role is something bigger than me. It will be beautiful. I’m so excited to be a part of it.”
“The Little Mermaid” also stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, David Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.
The live-action remake is set for May 26, 2023 — and Bailey is ready for it.
“I’m so excited for the release. I feel like I’ve been waiting for so long — we’ve been talking about it for so long, but now that it’s rolling out, I’m really grateful that everyone is going to see it,” Bailey told Entertainment Tonight in October. “I hope everyone likes it. We’ll see.”