AceShowbiz - Halle Bailey took inspiration from Brandy for her role in "The Little Mermaid". The 23-year-old actress stars as Ariel in the live-action remake of the Disney classic and looked to pop star Brandy - who became the first black actress to play Cinderella on screen in the 1997 TV movie also starring Whitney Houston - and is "really grateful" to where she is because of the women that have come before her.
"I just am really grateful to be in this position. I loved Brandy as Cinderella; she was so amazing, such a role model and inspiration, and a really big kind of studying point for me as I was taking on Ariel," she told ETCanada.
"I just watched how amazing she was in that role and how comfortable she was in her skin and how impactful to audiences and little girls like me who watched it. And Anika Noni Rose, who's just outstanding."
"I've had the chance to meet her and we got to sing ['The Princess and the Frog'] song together, 'Almost There' for [2022's 'Disney Family Singalong'] with my sister. She was always so kind! But there are these beautiful black women pioneers who've done this before and been there for me to be able to say, 'OK, I can do this."
Halle went on to add that it has been a "beautiful moment" for her to see the reaction of youngsters because it reminds her of the little girl she was. She said, "It's been such a beautiful moment for me to be able to see the reactions of the babies - it makes me just emotionally overwhelmed honestly and I cry as soon as I watch them."
"I think of the little girl that's still in me, honestly, and it heals that girl inside of me to watch them feel like they have representation and someone to look to, to know that they deserve to be in those places too. [It's] so important. It just makes me cry anytime I see any of those videos."