"I feel so grateful to be in this position honestly,” Halle Bailey, 23, shares with WHO.
“Ariel was my favourite princess and to have the chance to be part of the reimagination where I get to play her and represent for this new generation – especially seeing the reactions of all the black and brown little girls and boys who get to see themselves in me – it’s truly an honour and I’m so grateful to be here."
“It’s a big job,” Melissa McCarthy adds. “It’s nerve-wracking and I think we were all aware that we loved it, but that other people have ownership of it because it’s been with them for so long.”
“But I think at a certain point, because of that, we were like let’s do this to the best of our ability and I think there was something really exciting in how Rob [Marshall] and Disney did it.”
“It’s a love letter to the original,” the actress who plays Ursula continues, “but it is reinterpreted. It’s modern and I think it’s relevant, which was fun and entertaining.”
So why remake a classic? Director Rob Marshall explains that it's to create a “fuller experience.”
“All of a sudden you have real people and it lends itself to a deeper story, a broader story, a fuller story and ultimately a more emotional story. I have to say I think people will love this film for that reason - you have all the pieces of the original but we have something fuller.”
Watching the new remake, it’s clear the original storyline still resonates with audiences over 30 years later and Melissa attributes its success to the still-relevant themes.
“It isn’t just a girl looking for a boy,” she explains. “It’s two young people who are choosing and demanding to have the life that they want, not the life they’ve been assigned, and I think that’s so relevant now and important to see on screen.”
“Even at the end it isn’t just that they’re going to live happily ever after, it’s that everybody has to realise we can meet people [who aren’t like us] we don’t have to fear them, we don’t need to run, we can embrace our differences – and putting all of that good stuff that we need now, into a story we already loved, is just perfection.”
The Little Mermaid opens exclusively in Australian cinemas on May 25, 2023.