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“Seeing the reaction of the world was definitely one shockbut see all the children’s reactions, all dark-skinned and black girls, it really tore me apart emotionally.” In an interview given to EditionHalle Baileywhich in the Live-action Disney The little Mermaid plays Ariel, recounted the happiness felt in realizing that, despite the controversy sparked by those who would have preferred a white princess and not of African-American origins, young black spectators have had the opportunity to recognize themselves in the character since the release of the first trailer. “It has honestly been such a crazy ride, and I feel genuinely shocked and honored and grateful to be in this position. A lot of times, I have to pinch myself and say, is this real life?” As reported by Rolling Stone the Grammy Award-nominated actress and singer and one half of musical duo Chloe x Halle previously told Entertainment Weekly that she was encouraged by director Rob Marshall to incorporate aspects of herself into the iconic role: “With Rob, it’s so amazing and it just says ‘I see you and I want to bring you into character.’ So that was a beautiful thing. My hair, for example, incorporating my strands into red hair was something really special to me. The suit, the fins, everything. It’s just amazing. I’m just grateful that I was able to take the essence of me and mix the two”.
AN INNOVATIVE WORK
In the interview with Edition, Bailey also reveals that Marshall used water tanks and other effects to recreate the world of the film, while during the filming she herself spent up to thirteen hours in water. “I’ve gone as far as I’ve never gone in my life. And I feel the message from her was knowing that you’ve always had it in you.” According to the actress, the film based on the 1989 animated film and presented with the final trailer during the last Oscar ceremony shows characteristics of modernity: “I’m really excited about my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed her perspective that she just wanted to leave the ocean for a boy. It’s much bigger than that. It’s about herself, her freedom, her life and what she wants. As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and more. and I’m happy Disney is updating some of those themes.”