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‘Grateful…to take the essence of me and mix the two’: The Little Mermaid Star Halle Bailey Made Ariel ‘Better’ By Changing Ariel’s Signature Fiery Red Hair With Her Locs

halle bailey little mermaid

As we all might be aware by now, the whole Internet has been split ever since the first official teaser trailer for one of Disney’s upcoming live adaptation films, The Little Mermaid saw its release at the D23 Expo.

While many expressed their limitless criticisms, others hailed Halle Bailey as the definitive Ariel of the current generation. While audiences getting wary about the dreary atmosphere portrayed within the premise is justifiable, things reached a concerning penultimate peak when Bailey became the target of harassment amongst many.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey

Read also: ‘Lady’s a fish, best friend’s a talking crab…and people are mad she’s black?’: Wonder Woman Actor Lynda Carter Slams The Little Mermaid Trolls Over Absurd Outrage

What became obvious was that for some, the problem was not just the gloomy cinematic mood, but something that transcended above such deliberations; something tinged with a smidge (sometimes, a whole lot) of prejudice.

However, such remarks are seldom enough to topple the creative prowess of talented, enigmatic personalities. Halle Bailey just so happens to be one of those people, as she recently expressed how she incorporated herself into Ariel’s character.

Halle Bailey Brought Parts Of Herself Into The Little Mermaid

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

While talking to EW in an interview, Halle Bailey detailed her experiences of getting to combine her “essence” with Ariel, bringing a mixture of the two to successful fruition. After the first look of her character in the much-anticipated endeavor was released to the masses at the D23 Expo, the young singer and actress addressed the intricacies of her role – especially in regards to the incorporation of personal elements.

Singing the song of praises extended at Rob Marshall, the actress expressed her heartiest gratitude. “He’s so amazing,” is what Bailey had to say about the notable film director. According to her, the Chicago alum claimed on wanting to bring Bailey “into the character.” 

This mounted up to an amalgamation of beautiful experiences for the 22-year-old talent where she got to translate bits and pieces of herself and depict it through The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel – including her hair.

Halle Bailey's beautiful improvisation of Ariel The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey’s beautiful improvisation of Ariel

Read also: ‘Representation always mattered, even in fantasy stories’: Halle Bailey Fans Defend The Little Mermaid Against Renewed Backlash, Claim Diversity is Needed Even in Folktales

Following is what she had to say about it:

“With Rob, he’s so amazing and just saying, ‘I see you and I want to bring you into the character. So 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.” 

Such statements allude to Bailey’s overflowing excitement and love towards getting to portray and embody the iconic late 80s Disney princess. By mixing influences – both personal and canonical – the singer strives to be a great iteration of Ariel. Besides, she seems to possess a profound knowledge of why exactly viewers for the longest time have constantly resonated with the character.

Ariel The Little Mermaid
Disney’s The Little Mermaid

According to Bailey, the one thing that attracts the audience about Ariel is how she unabashedly pursues what she wants for herself. In her own words, “She goes after what she wants and what she sees for herself.” The actress believes that the Disney princess is a vicarious entity of a core human foundation: yearning for “something great” for ourselves. Instead of shying away from the uncertainties on the path to achieving the magnificent things in life, Ariel simply “goes for it.”

The singer concluded by stating that she deeply respects the strength and the willingness exuded by the fan-favorite character. Furthermore, she attested to having tried encapsulating the aforementioned quality within the film.

How The Little Mermaid (2023) Is Different

Halle Bailey
The Little Mermaid (2023)

Read also: The Little Mermaid: People Got So Insulted With a Black Actor Playing Ariel That They Used AI To Turn Halle Bailey White

In the interview, Halle Bailey also emphasized what new to look forward to from the 2023 iteration. As stated, the film will delve into a “new story.” Rather than being a premise primarily focused on “falling in love and wanting a boy” or choosing to merely meander across the sea and reach the world above, it will also involve what Ariel “sees for herself and her future and her passion.”

On an ending note, the actress elaborated on how the entire filming process truly helped her develop herself. After the production of The Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey has come to know herself in a much better manner. She additionally became “sure” of herself, growing both mentally and physically strong.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey

With the world now extending their never-ending support for the actress, and some major celebrities also voicing disapproval towards the onslaught of criticism, it can be substantiated that Bailey has introduced a refreshing flair into the world of the fictitious premise. It would be intriguing to see the upcoming glimpses offered by Disney.

The Little Mermaid is set to release on 26 May 2023.

Source: Entertainment Weekly