Halle Bailey Talks Intense ‘The Little Mermaid’ Movie Audition – Billboard

Four years ago, Halle Bailey landed the role of a lifetime when she was cast in the live-action reboot of one of her favorite childhood Disney films, little mermaidNow, at 22, the singer, known as one-half sibling for Chloe x Halle, can finally start talking about the grueling, inspiring process of slipping into Ariel’s fish tale, a role that’s bigger than she ever imagined. much more.

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in an interview type Uncovering some details of the closely-watched film set for release in May 2023, Bailey spoke of becoming the second black actor to play a Disney princess — following Anika Noni Ross’ 2009 debut After Tiana’s voice princess and frog — and why she looks forward to inspiring a new generation.

“I want the little girl inside me and the little girl who is watching like me to know that they are special and that they should be princesses in every way,” Bailey said. “There’s no reason it shouldn’t. That kind of reassurance is what I need.” After listening to her grandparents share their memories of racism and discrimination, Bailey put their Inspiration in mind.

“It’s inspiring and beautiful to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing to us, to our community, to all the little black and brown girls who are going to see themselves,'” “She said they told her. That encouragement took on even more weight after some backlash from trolls, who launched the hashtag #NotMyAriel to protest the idea of ​​a black mermaid princess.

“It’s important,” her sister and music partner Chloe told the magazine, “that you have a strong support system by your side. It’s hard to carry the weight of the world alone.” The system also helped Bailey consider what if She had a black Ariel to look up to, what her younger self might have felt. “How does that affect me, how does that change my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” she wondered. “What seems small to others is big to us.”

In the director Rob Marshall (Rob Marshall) (Aunt Mary returns) spotted her on the telecast of the 2019 Grammys, where Chloe x Halle performed “Where’s the Love?” While the director was captivated by her singing, he wasn’t sure if she would act, so He auditioned for her to sing Ariel’s national anthem, “Part of Your World.”

“I was in tears when she was done because she was so affectionate,” Marshall said of the star, who has been on Freeform for four consecutive seasons mature with her sister. “You could tell right away that she was able to harness Ariel’s passion, her fire, her soul, her joy and her heart.” He was sold, but Bailey needed a magical costume to feel like she was ready It’s good to swim with the big maid. During her screen test, the actress and singer said costume designer Colleen Atwood came to her house because Bailey said it was another of her childhood favorite scenes.

“Have you ever seen a Hilary Duff movie where she has a twin and she’s thrown into a room and put on all these clothes?” Bailey said, comparing the fitting to the 2003 scene Lizzie McGuire movies Duff wears a series of costumes in it. “That’s how I feel.” Although no one was really allowed to reveal any details of the costume design, Marshall told type The character’s hair blends into Bailey’s iconic location. “Her red hair looks stunning; not everyone does that,” he said.

It’s another sneak peek when Bailey says she’s borrowing the character’s emotional headspace from her own life when she says she’s in a relationship with her film father, King Triton (Javier Bardem). “I always talk about [how] My dad was like a mirror to King Triton; he was always overprotective of me and my sister,” she said of her real-life pop. “That’s one of the things we like about him — he likes The way. When I was filming with Javier, I just drew inspiration from my own experiences with my own father: how deep that love was, how strong and protective they were. “

In addition to the grueling emotional work, Bailey must learn to soar over the wires and other technological devices that allow her to spin, fly, and flip through space to capture Ariel’s mermaid moves. Because Bailey came to the role with musical experience, her vocals inspired Oscar-winning songwriters Alan Mencken and Lin-Manuel Miranda to write some new songs for her Ariel, though Marshall says that among them A highlight was her audition of her “pain” rendition of the song “World”.

“[Halle] Marshall said. “It’s the creepiest, most emotional moment of the movie because it not only showcases her incredible vocal abilities, but also the emotional fervor with which she sings.”

Melissa McCarthy, who plays Ursula in the film — which also stars Dave Deggs, Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay — said in June that when She was overwhelmed when she heard Bailey’s version on set, “Seven of us because we haven’t heard it.”

The following MermaidBailey flies to Georgia to work on musical adaptation Purpleshe will play the protagonist Celie’s sister Nettie.

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