The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey recently spoke about how she can relate to Ariel’s character and her longing for more. The actress told The Face about the remake’s themes of pushing through fear and how fond she is of those ideas.
“I felt like God was lining up themes in my life with the character. Ariel has this longing for something more,” Bailey said. “She doesn’t quite know what it is yet, but she has to be brave in order to find it on her own. Being away from everybody for the first time in my life, I really loved those themes of knowing that it’s OK to be fearful and pushing through it.”
The star also spoke about her appreciation for Ariel’s hair in the live-action remake, as the main character has locs in this interpretation.
“As a Black woman, hair is spiritual, especially locs,” Bailey explained. “It was really cool for them to make Ariel a version of me with my locs. I feel like that’s what mermaid hair would be anyway.”
For this new version of The Little Mermaid, Disney paired Lin-Manuel Miranda with Alan Menken — who also wrote the songs in the 1989 animated film alongside Howard Ashman — to create a blend of old and new songs that will be featured in the upcoming big-screen version.
Disney’s animated The Little Mermaid made over $211 million at the box office and became a bestseller on home video, popularizing songs like “Under The Sea” and “Part of Your World.” The upcoming film is based on the short story by Hans Christian Andersen and the 1989 Disney animated film by Ron Clements and John Musker.