The Little Mermaid: Disney Film Had ‘No Agenda’ for Casting According to Director Rob Marshall, Says Halle Bailey Had the Perfect Voice for Ariel

Halle Bailey's casting in The Little Mermaid ruffled a few feathers and she faced many racist comments. #NotMyAriel started trending as well, and of course Halle Bailey did notice the hate. She opened up about how her grandparents' stories helped her overcome the hate. Director Rob Marshall said there was "no agenda" in casting either, and Halle just had all the qualities.

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The Little Mermaid: Disney Film Had ‘No Agenda’ for Casting According to Director Rob Marshall, Says Halle Bailey Had the Perfect Voice for Ariel
Rob Marshall and still from The Little Mermaid (Photo Credit: Wiki)

Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid had "no agenda" when it came to the casting of Ariel, said the director Rob Marshall. The Chicago and Into the Woods director told Entertainment Weekly that his team auditioned "every ethnicity" for the role before landing on singer Halle Bailey, reports Variety. While Bailey's casting has been widely championed and celebrated, a small portion of racist fans have expressed outrage against Disney for casting a Black actor as Ariel. The Little Mermaid Teaser: Halle Bailey’s First Look as Ariel Unveiled by Disney at the D23 Expo; Film to Arrive in Theatres on May 26, 2023.

"We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end," Marshall said. "We saw everybody and every ethnicity. (The goal was to find someone who can be) incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever (and with) a great deal of fire and joy." Bailey had all of those qualities, plus the kind of voice the role of Ariel demands.

As Marshall explained, "That voice is something that is so signature and so ethereal and so beautiful that it captures the heart of Eric and he looks for her for the entire film." The film's teaser trailer features only a portion of Bailey belting "Part of Your World," but her vocals were enough to get fans excited for the live-action remake.

Marshall said he never expected there to be such an intense focus on Bailey's casting. "I wasn't anticipating that because, in a way, I felt like we've moved so far past that kind of thing," Marshall said. "But then you realize, in a way we haven't. It was very moving to me to see how important this kind of casting is for the world." Bolstered by toxic fans on social media, the hashtag #NotMyAriel sprung up on Twitter after Bailey's casting was first announced. The Little Mermaid Director Rob Marshall Praises Halle Bailey's Performance as Ariel.

The actor told Variety that her family helped her drown out the backlash. Bailey's grandparents shared their own memories with her of the racism and discrimination that they had endured in their lifetimes. "It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, 'You don't understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you'," Bailey said.

Bailey also overcame the backlash by thinking about how such a casting would've impacted her as a young girl. "What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything," she said. "Things that seem so small to everyone else, it's so big to us." Disney is set to open The Little Mermaid in theaters on May 26, 2023.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 21, 2022 05:50 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

The Little Mermaid: Disney Film Had ‘No Agenda’ for Casting According to Director Rob Marshall, Says Halle Bailey Had the Perfect Voice for Ariel
Rob Marshall and still from The Little Mermaid (Photo Credit: Wiki)

Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid had "no agenda" when it came to the casting of Ariel, said the director Rob Marshall. The Chicago and Into the Woods director told Entertainment Weekly that his team auditioned "every ethnicity" for the role before landing on singer Halle Bailey, reports Variety. While Bailey's casting has been widely championed and celebrated, a small portion of racist fans have expressed outrage against Disney for casting a Black actor as Ariel. The Little Mermaid Teaser: Halle Bailey’s First Look as Ariel Unveiled by Disney at the D23 Expo; Film to Arrive in Theatres on May 26, 2023.

"We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end," Marshall said. "We saw everybody and every ethnicity. (The goal was to find someone who can be) incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever (and with) a great deal of fire and joy." Bailey had all of those qualities, plus the kind of voice the role of Ariel demands.

As Marshall explained, "That voice is something that is so signature and so ethereal and so beautiful that it captures the heart of Eric and he looks for her for the entire film." The film's teaser trailer features only a portion of Bailey belting "Part of Your World," but her vocals were enough to get fans excited for the live-action remake.

Marshall said he never expected there to be such an intense focus on Bailey's casting. "I wasn't anticipating that because, in a way, I felt like we've moved so far past that kind of thing," Marshall said. "But then you realize, in a way we haven't. It was very moving to me to see how important this kind of casting is for the world." Bolstered by toxic fans on social media, the hashtag #NotMyAriel sprung up on Twitter after Bailey's casting was first announced. The Little Mermaid Director Rob Marshall Praises Halle Bailey's Performance as Ariel.

The actor told Variety that her family helped her drown out the backlash. Bailey's grandparents shared their own memories with her of the racism and discrimination that they had endured in their lifetimes. "It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, 'You don't understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you'," Bailey said.

Bailey also overcame the backlash by thinking about how such a casting would've impacted her as a young girl. "What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything," she said. "Things that seem so small to everyone else, it's so big to us." Disney is set to open The Little Mermaid in theaters on May 26, 2023.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 21, 2022 05:50 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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    The Little Mermaid: Review, Cast, Plot, Trailer, Release Date – All You Need to Know About Halle Bailey's Disney Live-Action Remake!

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