The teaser trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid dropped just one week ago, giving audiences their very first look at Halle Bailey‘s highly anticipated portrayal of the beloved princess Ariel. And now, the star is opening up about the pressures of playing such a universally adored character, whom she says she, too, has loved since she was a child.
“I’m so excited about this film,” she began, speaking to E! News at the D23 Expo. “You know being here today is so surreal.”
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“I definitely think that because I love this movie so much, and I’ve treasured it since I was a little girl, I did put a bit of pressure on myself,” the 22-year-old Chloe x Halle vocalist continued. “Just because I want to deliver all of the feels that I saw when I was a little girl.”
“Knowing that gave it my all and gave 110 percent into everything of this film, I am really proud of myself,” she added.
Bailey’s hard work definitely seems to have paid off. In addition to the praise she’s received online from fans blown away by just the small snippet of her vocals featured in the teaser trailer, she also recently got a pretty big fins-up from the O.G. Ariel, Jodi Benson. After Benson — who voiced the redheaded mermaid in Disney’s original 1989 animated film — saw exclusive extended footage of the 22-year-old singing “Part of Your World” at the D23 Expo, she took to her Instagram story to share how impressed she was.
“Halle, you were absolutely amazing!” Benson wrote. “I’m SO proud of you & your beautiful performance as Ariel.”
See Halle Bailey as Ariel in the trailer for Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid, coming to theaters May 2023, below: