Disney first revealed Halle Bailey would lead the cast of its live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid back in 2019. Now, nearly four years later, Disney fans everywhere will soon get to see Bailey’s Ariel come to life on the big screen.
While many are excited to see Bailey in the role, it’s clear that her fellow co-stars and the creative team behind The Little Mermaid are her number 1 fans. During a recent press junket for the film, everyone raved about Bailey’s performance as Ariel.
“Right in the moment I met her, I just fell for her. I mean, she has this thing where you just can’t help yourself but love her unconditionally,” said Javier Bardem, who plays Bailey’s on-screen father and ruler of the sea, King Triton. “I was always mesmerized by the quality of her as a performer, let alone the singing that I knew. But as an actress, how willing and courageous she is… and in going to the places that she had to go to. And that was amazing.”
Daveed Diggs (voice of Sebastian) and Melissa McCarthy (Ursula) specifically pointed to Bailey’s rendition of “Part of Your World” as evidence of her incredible talent and presence in the role.
“I can’t think about that moment without crying,” Diggs said of watching the “Part of Your World” sequence for the first time.
“Every time I see it, I’m like oh God, oh God. It was like, I know it’s coming. Don’t [cry], oh,” McCarthy added.
The classic music from Alan Menken and the new visual effects help bring “Part of Your World” to life in the live-action adaptation of the film. But the creative team agree Bailey’s personality and voice charmed everyone right from her first audition.
“When she first auditioned and sang the song [“Part of Your World”] for us, I turned to Rob [Marshall] and there were tears streaming down his face,” recalled producer John DeLuca.
“Here’s the thing. The first actor we saw for this role was Halle. The first thing she did is she came in and sang for us,” explained director Rob Marshall. “And I thought, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I just thought she’s so deeply connected to what she’s singing about. It’s so emotional. It’s so beautiful. And I thought, oh my gosh, we’ve been doing this for five minutes. Have we found Ariel? And we had.”
Menken, who composed the original animated feature’s music, also loved Bailey for the role from the start.
“She’s completely adorable. She’s so talented. You can’t take your eyes off her,” said Menken. “The emotion is just right there on her face and in her voice. She’s just… she’s Halle Bailey. She’s a delicious person. And she’s an amazing Ariel.”
If these enthusiastic endorsements of Bailey have you excited to see her Ariel in action, you luckily won’t have long to wait. The Little Mermaid officially premieres in theaters May 26.
The Little Mermaid premieres in theaters May 26.