Halle Bailey is not letting the haters get her down.
After being cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid, many on social media celebrated the announcement, while others took issue with Disney’s choice of a new black princess, starting the hashtag #NotMyAriel.
But the 19-year-old, who makes up one half of the Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle, is brushing off the negativity. During Variety‘s Power of Young Hollywood event in Los Angeles, Bailey spoke about landing the coveted role in the remake of the 1989 animated classic.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” she told Variety. “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 gonna be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
Bailey has received support from many in Hollywood including the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson. When asked about the casting, Benson told ComicBook.com, “The most important thing is to tell the story. And we have, as a family, we have 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.”
Her older sister Chloe, 21, who stars alongside her on “Grown-ish,” couldn’t be prouder. “Heck yeah! I was more than proud. I was screaming and crying. She worked so hard,” she told PEOPLE.
Halle admits that she is nervous to take on the role without her sister by her side. “It is definitely a little bit nerve-racking because I am the little sister,” she told Variety. “I am so used to [us]always going through these challenging moments in our career together, [but]I am beginning to understand that this film is so much bigger than me.”
Others including Halle Berry and Zendaya have also voiced their support for Bailey.