Auli’i Cravalho celebrates fellow Little Mermaid Halle Bailey

Auli’i Cravalho has praised Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake, the same role the Moana star will play in a U.S. TV musical.
The 18-year-old was recently cast as the lead in ABC’s upcoming Little Mermaid Live!, which will air on the U.S. TV network later this year (19) but will hand over the part to Halle for the new live-action reboot of the classic 1989 animation.
Chatting to Entertainment Tonight’s Katie Krause, the Hawaiian-American actress said she will be seeking out Bailey to congratulate her, and criticised the backlash against her casting – as she thinks there’s room for diverse interpretations of the role.
“Oh, I can’t wait to see her and congratulate her,” Cravalho said on the red carpet at the Variety Power of Young Hollywood gala on Tuesday (06Aug19).
Speaking about online complaints about the choice of a black Ariel, she added: “Yeah I think there’s so much room for so many different types of Ariels and so many mermaids. I’m so honored to be able to lend my voice and my interpretation of Ariel and I cannot wait to see Halle’s.”
Of her own role in the ABC musical, which will air in November and will also feature Queen Latifah as Ursula, and reggae artist Shaggy as her Jamaican crab pal Sebastian, Cravalho added: “We get to pay homage and appreciate the original animation and then we have live performances that are gonna be spectacular with not only me, thankfully, getting to play Ariel, but also Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian. C’mon!”
Bailey was also present at the Variety bash, and spoke to ET about playing Ariel in the new version of Disney’s take on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.
“It means so much to me,” the 19-year-old singer and actress shared. “I feel very honoured and really grateful for the opportunity. Ariel was one of my favourite princesses growing up, so it’s a dream come true. I’m very excited and happy.”
Shooting on The Little Mermaid film is expected to get underway next year.