She isn’t “Under the Sea” just yet!
Halle Bailey, the new Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, attended the studio’s world premiere of The Lion King on Tuesday. Joined by her sister, Chloe Bailey, the pair hit the red carpet at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, styled by Zerina Akers.
“Guess where we at?” Chloe asked their followers in a selfie video of herself and Halle — posted to the R&B duo’s joint Instagram Story — while Halle responded, “We’re at the Lion King, woo!”
Halle sparkled in a black, glittering Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini dress, which she paired with tall Victorian-style heeled booties and mauve statement earrings that matched her nails. Her sister rocked a plunging black pantsuit with peep-toe heels and hoop earrings.
The R&B stars were at The Lion King premiere in part to celebrate their mentor, Beyoncé, who voices the character of Nala in the remake of the classic Disney film.
“GO B!! we love you,” they wrote on their Instagram Story over a video of the “Lemonade” singer walking across the stage ahead of the screening.
The sisters found success with their music when their cover of Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts” got the attention of the superstar herself — and her label. Chloe X Halle were subsequently signed to Parkwood Entertainment in 2015 and the duo opened for Beyoncé during the European leg of her 2016 tour. They went on to open for Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z during the U.S. leg of the On the Run II tour in 2018.
Halle — whose acting debut was in 2006’s The Last Holiday — and called it a “dream come true” when she was cast as Ariel for the remake of the classic film.
Her casting was met with a flood of backlash over Disney choosing a person of color for the role. Reacting to racist Internet comments about the casting, Jodie Benson — the original voice of Ariel in the 1989 animated classic — praised Disney’s decision while recently attending Florida Supercon.
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“I think the most important thing is to tell the story,” Benson said at the pop culture convention, as seen in a video on Instagram posted by user part.of.my.disney.world. “We have, as a family, raised our children and for ourselves that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”
“We need to be storytellers,” Benson continued. “And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story.”