Halle Bailey has singlehandedly redefined what it means to be—and appear to be—a princess, an honor the actor doesn’t take evenly. “I keep in mind Ariel being the explanation I wished to swim,” Bailey, who fell in love with the unique Little Mermaid when she was 5, tells Glamour. “After I noticed her, [I was] like, ‘She’s so stunning; I need to be a mermaid too.’ She didn’t appear to be me, however I used to be okay with that as a result of it was what I used to be used to on the time.”
The subsequent era doesn’t need to see issues that manner, although, and movies of younger Black ladies gleefully reacting to an Ariel with whom they recognized have flooded the web since Bailey was solid. “After I noticed these [videos] for the primary time, I simply cried,” Bailey says. “I used to be sobbing uncontrollably. The truth that these infants are me and feeling the feelings that they’re feeling is a very humbling, stunning factor.”
Bailey is aware of how impactful seeing oneself onscreen might be, as she herself was moved by The Princess and the Frog, through which actor and singer Anika Noni Rose performs the titular princess. “I understand how a lot of that film modified my complete perspective on life,” she says. “Wow, that is potential. Black princesses are potential. We need to take up these areas too.”
Whereas the live-action Mermaid pulls closely from the unique’s plot, there are some key modifications, essentially the most obvious of that are visible. Clearly, modifications are required anytime you adapt animation to live-action, however Bailey and the wonder division needed to reimagine Ariel as a girl of shade too. Bailey and the staff opted to maintain her hair purple—that was important—however opted for copper locs to make it her personal.
“[Ariel still] has purple hair, as a result of that’s a really iconic a part of her, however I actually did admire the truth that as a result of I’m a Black girl and I’ve locs, [the producers] wished to include that into Ariel’s look,” Bailey says. Hairstylist Camille Pal was tasked with the transformation that entailed dyeing Bailey’s roots purple and wrapping her locs with hair the identical shade.