The bet was difficult and risky, but it was already a triumph: the actress chosen for the “live-action” version, i.e. with actors, of The little Mermaid era Halle Baileywhich did not follow the pattern of fair skin from the popular 1989 cartoon.
Director Rob Marshall, himself of ChicagoA Pirates of the Caribbean AND Memories of a geisha, decided to play for Bailey, a singer who I was 19 at the time and was succeeding in a pop duet with her sister Chloe, with five Grammy nominations.
In fact, she didn’t know that the casting was for the lead role. “The version of the little mermaid Ariel I had in my head had pale skin and bright red hair. She looked nothing like me!”
As the director recalled at the US premiere, “Halle was the first actress we saw for the part. She came and sang the theme song. Part of your world with such depth and passion that it brings me to tears. Her performance was very emotional.”
Even so, Rob Marshall doubted she was a good actress, since she had little experience, just the series Grown up and a little more. But they did hundreds more auditions and none could top that great first impression. Plus, with each successive tryout, Bailey gained confidence and solidity as an actress.
A luxury cast
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.