Fans Get First Look at Halle Bailey as Ariel While Filming Disney’s Live-Action ‘The Little Mermaid’

Halle Bailey was spotted getting her fins wet in the first glimpse of her portrayal of Ariel in Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ live-action film.

The 21-year-old “Grown-ish” star was seen cozying up to her co-star Jonah Hauer-King while filming Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” in Italy. In the images, the younger half of R&B duo Chloe X Halle is seen in a wetsuit and mermaid tail while appearing to rehearse the scene when Ariel finds Prince Eric washed up on a beach and saves his life. Production team members can be seen surrounding them as they hang out beachside. According to The Daily Mail, the shoot is currently taking place on a Sardinian shoreline, and the two stars seem to be getting along swimmingly.

Halle Bailey has transformed into Ariel for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” (Photo: @hallebailey/Instagram)

Following the July 2019 announcement that Bailey landed the role, making her the first Black actress to portray the human-loving, red-headed mermaid, a wave of racist backlash hit the internet and was even given a hashtag, #notmyariel. She responded to the online hate with maturity and grace, telling Variety, “I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

Freeform also responded to the racist responses with a statement in full support of the Disney star. It began by pointing out that although the story was written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, it is still a fictional story about a fictional creature, before schooling the ignorant. “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black,” reasoned the open letter, which was shared across the network’s social media accounts. “Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.”

“So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you,” it read in closing.

Halle Bailey and her co-star Jonah Hauer-King filming “The Little Mermaid.” @mermaidliveact1/Twitter screenshot

The remake of Disney’s 1989 animated classic, which is expected to hit theaters in 2022, will include memorable songs from the original and a star-studded cast including, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the sea witch, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Noma Dumezweni as a brand new character.

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