The Little Mermaid's Halle Bailey explains why keeping her locs as Ariel was important
24 May 2023, 17:07 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 18:14
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Producers wanted Halle to keep her own hairstyle and incorporate it into Ariel's identity.
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Halle Bailey is the perfect Ariel, there's absolutely no doubt about it. From her stunning performance in the movie to her breathtaking rendition of 'Part of Your World', The Little Mermaid star is exceptional in the role.
Now, Halle is opening up about her new version of the iconic Disney character, and has explained why it was so important for Ariel to keep Halle's own loc hairstyle in the film too.
In the 2023 version of The Little Mermaid, all of King Triton's daughters (Ariel, Mala, Indira, Caspia, Tamika, Karina, and Perla) have different skin tones and hair textures as they represent the seven seas.
Halle's Ariel still has the iconic red hair, but instead of wearing it straight, she sports locs. The actress has now opened up about how it felt to include that feature as part of Ariel's identity.
READ MORE: The Little Mermaid director slams racist backlash towards Halle Bailey's casting
Speaking to Glamour, Halle says the film's producers – including director Rob Marshall – were keen to stay true to her Black heritage through the character.
Not only was the decision to incorporate Halle's real life locs important for representation within the new version of Ariel, it was also important to Halle and her own identity as a Black woman too.
She said: "[Ariel still] has red hair, because that’s a very iconic part of her, but I really did admire the fact that because I’m a Black woman and I have locs, [the producers] wanted to incorporate that into Ariel’s look."
"My locs are so important to me. I’ve had them since I was five. I always think about what life would be like if I combed out my locs but I’ve never had my straight hair at all."
Opening up about playing Ariel, Halle spoke about becoming a Disney Princess that young Black girls could also see themselves in on screen.
"I remember Ariel being the reason I wanted to swim," she said. "When I saw her, [I was] like, 'She’s so beautiful; I want to be a mermaid too.' She didn’t look like me, but I was okay with that because it was what I was used to at the time."
Speaking about the adorable trend of videos showing young Black girls seeing Halle as Ariel for the first time, she added: "When I saw those for the first time, I just cried. I was sobbing uncontrollably. The fact that these babies are looking at me and feeling the emotions that they’re feeling is a really humbling, beautiful thing."
Read more about The Little Mermaid here:
- The new Little Mermaid removes Ursula's iconic "body language" verse and fans are pressed
- Halle Bailey says Ursula is "misunderstood" in The Little Mermaid
- The Little Mermaid composer reveals why classic song was cut from the 2023 soundtrack
- Aladdin's Mena Massoud deletes Twitter over backlash to The Little Mermaid comment
- The Little Mermaid remake changes lyrics in two iconic songs to emphasise consent
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