Ever since Disney announced their casting choice for the role of Ariel in the live-action remake of the iconic 1989 animated movie The Little Mermaid, there's been a hot debate going on among fans. Some say that the casting of a black actress is a progressive step towards inclusivity in Hollywood and that race doesn't matter anyway as mermaids are fictional creatures. Meanwhile, others consider it as disrespectful to the original version, which was based on the work of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and a lazy attempt on Disney's part to promote diversity.
But opposing arguments aside, let's get to know Halle Bailey, the actress chosen to play the coveted part. Keep reading to learn five fun facts about her!
She's part of a sister act
Halle, together with her sister Chloe, started doing covers of songs way back in 2011
, and eventually officially formed contemporary R&B singing duo Chloe x Halle. Their first album, Sugar Symphony,
came out in 2016 and the year after, they released an album called The Two of Us,
which was included in Rolling Stone's list of best R&B albums of 2017. Their most recognisable song is called Grown,
the theme song of TV series Grown-ish
Her acting debut was in Last Holiday
Halle's first-ever role was in a rom-com movie — with Queen Latifah, no less! It was a small role but a jumpstart to her acting career. Before getting the role as The Little Mermaid, she also had recurring roles in Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Disney Channel's Austin & Ally.
She's a series regular in Grown-ish
Aside from producing the theme song for the show, Halle and Chloe were also cast as regulars in the sitcom. They play the sporty and outspoken sisters Jazlyn and Skylar Forster, who are track athletes at Cal U. The show, which is a spin-off of the ABC series Black-ish, follows college student Zoe and her misadventures with friends. It's currently on its second season and has already been picked up for a third season. We wonder how this will affect Halle's character once she spends more time filming for The Little Mermaid.
She's in Beyonce's Lemonade visual album
In 2016, Halle and sister Chloe scored a cameo in Beyonce's Lemonade visual album, along with Zendaya and Serena Williams. The duo was first noticed by viewers with their cover of Beyonce's hit Best Thing I Never Had so there's a real bond between the sisters and the multihyphenate popstar.