Disney princess dreams came true at the world premiere of «The Little Mermaid,» as Halle Bailey, star of the new live-action remake, and Jodi Benson, lead of the original 1989 classic, united on the sea-blue carpet on May 8. A TikTok from the star-studded event captured a sweet moment where the two actors embraced one another and exchanged kind words before heading off to see the highly anticipated Disney film.
But before then, Benson spoke to «Entertainment Tonight» and shared nothing but praise for Bailey’s «brilliant» performance as Ariel. «She doesn’t need any advice from me,» Benson laughed when asked if she helped Bailey prepare to become a real-life Disney princess. «I did get to meet her a few times and chat with her, and just to tell her how proud I was of her. But I love that she has a purity of heart and a pure spirit, and you can see that vulnerability and that childlike and bravery and courage coming through, and it’s beautiful. I’m so thrilled for her and I’m so proud of her.»
Benson isn’t the only one excited about Bailey’s «The Little Mermaid» role. In the months leading up to the film’s May 23 debut, eager fans have been documenting their excitement about seeing Bailey take on the coveted Disney part, especially after the trailer finally dropped on March 12 during the 2023 Oscars.
From kids dressing up as Bailey’s Ariel to the actor meeting superfans at Disney World, the anticipation for the live-action flick cannot be overstated.
In a March interview with POPSUGAR, Bailey acknowledged the historical significance of her becoming the first Black actor to play Ariel and the second Black Disney princess following Anika Noni Rose’s role as Tiana in 2009’s «The Princess and the Frog.» «It’s about time that a role like this is played by a Black woman, by somebody who is just a part of this beautiful community,» Bailey said. «We deserve to have images that look like us and to see ourselves in the media on big screens and everything. So I’m just grateful that we’re getting to see ourselves finally on such big projects.»
See more photos of Bailey and Benson at the «Little Mermaid» premiere ahead.