Halle Bailey was “stunned” when she was asked to audition for the lead role in Disney’s remake of The Little Mermaid.
The 23-year-old singer landed her first lead movie role when she was cast as Ariel in Rob Marshall’s reimagining of the 1989 animation back in 2019.
Reflecting on the casting process, Halle told reporters at the movie’s London premiere on Monday that she was shocked when she was asked to audition for the iconic character.
“When I was first asked to audition, I was stunned, I’m like, ‘What?!’ This is the princess I’ve known and loved for so long and for them to be asking about me was really surprising, honestly,” she recalled. “And then when I found out I got the role, I was squealing with joy and instantly so nervous because I wanted to a good job, I wanted to do my best and make everyone proud.”
Halle then heaped praise on her co-stars, including Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem and Jonah Hauer-King, for being “so warm and welcoming” to her on set and the original Ariel, Jodi Benson, for supporting her casting.
“It means everything to me to have Jodi Benson’s blessing, I mean, she’s an icon, she’s a legend, she’s lived in our hearts so long, so to have her stamp of approval, it really means everything,” she said of the voice actor.
The Chloe x Halle star also teased the four new songs featured in the film and called one “a dream come true” because it “really quenched (her) thirst as a singer” and let her “rip” vocally.
The Little Mermaid opens in cinemas on 26 May.
– Cover Media