EXCLUSIVE: Halle Bailey is seen for the first time as Ariel (complete with tail!) while filming The Little Mermaid with Jonah Hauer-King in Italy – after she detailed being cast as first black incarnation of the Disney character
- The actress, 21, was pictured in a mermaid’s tail to film beachside scenes alongside Jonah Hauer-King, 26, who plays Prince Eric, on an idyllic Sardinia shoreline
- The pair appeared to be working on the famous scene in which Ariel rescues Prince Eric after a shipwreck as he was seen laying on the ground while she seemed to be trying to wake him up
- Halle previously said she ‘doesn’t pay attention’ to the negative backlash after she made history as the first black actress to play Ariel
- The Little Mermaid doesn’t currently have a confirmed release date, and has been hit by a filming delay because of the Covid pandemic, however it is expected to come out some time in 2022
Halle Bailey has been pictured for the first time as Ariel as she filmed scenes for The Little Mermaid on the beaches of Italy.
The songstress, 21, was spotted wearing a mermaid’s tail as she sat beside her costar Jonah Hauer-King, 26, who plays Prince Eric, on an idyllic Sardinia shoreline.
Halle and Jonah appeared to be working on the famous scene in which Ariel rescues Prince Eric after a shipwreck as he was seen laying on the ground while she seemed to be trying to wake him up.
Making a splash! Beyonce’s protege Halle Bailey, 21, has been pictured for the first time as Ariel as she donned a tail and filmed scenes for The Little Mermaid movie with her co-star Jonah Hauer-King, 26, (left) on the beaches of Italy
Though she wasn’t wearing a purple bikini top like her cartoon countertop, Halle was sporting a wet suit as she sat beside Jonah with a huge smile on her face.
While Jonah appeared fully alert and engaged with his costar, at times he lay on the sand, acting unconscious following his character’s near-drowning.
The actor appeared knocked out as he lay beneath the sun while Halle gazed at her handsome prince and when he slowly rose from the sand, the singer gently guided him back to awareness.
Now fully-alert, the A Dog’s Way Home actor chatted with Halle as she cast a smile on him, surely relieved to see him wide awake.
Under the sea! The duo appeared to be working on the scene in which Ariel saves Prince Eric following a shipwreck as he was seen laying on the ground while she appeared to be trying to wake him up and help him sit
Getting to know you! A fully-alert Jonah, who is playing Prince Eric, chatted with his smiling costar while they went over the scene and were helped by several casually dressed crew members standing to the side of them on the beach
Part of your world! Jonah, who sported a black T-shirt and shorts, had his eyes closed as he lay beneath the sunshine with Halle, who was donning a blue wetsuit and her long black mermaid tail, by his side
Things seemed to be going very well during the beach session, with the duo also sharing a tight embrace while sitting on the sand together.
Meanwhile, as the scene played out, crew members watched over the young stars and even offered guidance on how to approach the role.
Halle watched attentively as two crew members demonstrated the proper approach to the monumental scene and one person even got on the sand to give some pointers and tips to the budding actress.
When Halle wasn’t rehearsing the scene, she was walking along the shoreline with her colleagues wearing a floppy black hat and blue wetsuit.
Tall tail! Though she wasn’t wearing a purple bikini top like her cartoon countertop, Halle did have on her mermaid’s tail while going over the important scene with Jonah, with the beauty letting the end of her tail dip into the water slightly
Hugs! Things appeared to be going very well during the rehearsal when Jonah, who has previously starred in movies such as Little Women, fiercely embraced his costar while they were sitting on the sand and working on their big moment
Fun in the sun! The actors were spotted filming on the idyllic coast of Sardinia last week after the production, which started in London at the start of the year, was hit by a Covid filming delay potentially impacting its currently unconfirmed release date
The Little Mermaid: Who are the movie’s leading stars Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King?
Halle Bailey as Ariel
Halle Bailey, 21, is from Atlanta and first gained popularity for making YouTube covers with her sister Chloe, 22.
These songs were eventually spotted by Beyonce who signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label. The singing superstar then took them as her opening act on tour, ensuring thousands of fans.
The five-time Grammy nominee’s role in The Little Mermaid will see her break through on the big screen, with her only recent acting role as a supporting character on Freeform’s Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi.
Confirming her role on Twitter with a snap of Ariel sporting her signature purple shell bikini , while appearing with dark skin, Halle gushed the role was a ‘dream come true’.
Halle had faced racist backlash about her casting, however she told Variety: ‘I don’t pay attention to the negativity’.
Cast: Halle Bailey is set to portray Ariel in the hotly-anticipated film, which is thought to be set for release in 2022 (pictured 2019)
Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric
Jonah Hauer-King, 26, was born and raised in London but is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States.
His mother is the American film producer Debra Hauer while his father is British. Jonah also studied in the UK going to St John’s College, Cambridge.
The young actor has already starred in several productions including the BBC’s 2017 TV adaption of Little Women, as Laurie, The Last Photograph, and A Dog’s Way Home.
Other notable TV series Jonah has appeared in include Howard’s End and British war drama series World On Fire.
Prince Eric was originally thought to be played by Harry Styles, however the singer reportedly turned down the role.
The Wrap reported that the 25 year old singer was ‘a fan of the project,’ but he ‘respectfully declined’ the role.
New face: British actor Jonah Hauer-King will play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid (pictured 2019)
Halle looked every inch the star as she focused on preparing for her big movie role and listened to the team’s suggestions on how to do the all-important scene.
The group were also seen convening along the rocky terrain as they prepared for their next move and looked out over a stunning view of the ocean.
The Little Mermaid was among a slew of live-action Disney films that were forced to delay production amid the pandemic, however filming is back in full-swing, although its release date is likely to have been pushed back.
Halle previously defended the decision to cast her in the film, after making history as the first black actress to play the role.
She told Teen Vogue: ‘We’ve always learned to just keep our heads up no matter the situation. No matter what anybody has to say about you…just keep pushing.’
Speaking about the casting she also told Variety: ‘I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful. And I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role is something bigger than me, and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.’
Production had started in 2020 and was based in London however things had to be pushed back a little amid the pandemic, with Halle previously telling the RadioTimes that it ’caused everyone to slow down’.
Watch and learn! Two crew members appeared to be offering Halle guidance on how to approach the role and stepping in to demonstrate some ideas during the beach session, with the singer appearing to be in great spirits as she soaked it all up
Hat’s off to her! Bailey was spotted keeping cool beneath a wide-brim black hat and walking around the location shoot in her blue wetsuit when not lounging on the sand in her tail and working on the scene with Jonah
She said: ‘I was in London at the beginning of the year, about to start filming and of course this pandemic caused everyone to slow down. I actually welcomed it because I was really missing my sister who was in LA, so I was happy to get back to her. I’m just so very excited for when we start back again.’
The Little Mermaid doesn’t currently have a confirmed release date, and has been hit by a filming delay because of the Covid pandemic, however it is expected to come out some time in 2022, after first being slated for July 2021.
According to DigitalSpy, Disney currently has several slots for ‘Untitled Disney Live Action’ movie releases which include: December 17, 2021, April 8, 2022, May 27, 2022, August 12, 2022 and November 4, 2022.
Halle’s casting was announced some time ago, with the movie’s director Rob Marshall gushing that she was perfect to portray Ariel in a statement shared in July 2019.
He said: ‘After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.’
Group chat: The actors listened intently to one crew member once Halle had slipped out of her tail following the scenes and they had both donned face masks, with Jonah keeping his off his nose
Making waves! Halle looked relaxed as she walked barefoot through the shallow depths of the ocean blue, letting her long hair cascade down her back and donning the huge black hat for the on-set stroll
What’s next? The group convened along the rocky terrain as they prepared for their next move with Halle listening closely to the directions while standing next to her co-star and other members of the team
Halle confirmed the exciting news of her casting on Twitter, giving fans a look at the new and first Black Ariel.
‘dream come true…’ she captioned an image of Ariel sporting her signature purple shell bikini with green bottoms, while appearing with dark skin, brown eyes and black rather than red hair.
The image was from 2015 when artist, Dylan Bonner, was commissioned by Brian Flynn to create illustrations of every Disney princess in the image of his girlfriend Maninai Gupta as a surprise Valentine’s Day present.
‘All intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role’: Director Rob Marshall previously gushed about Halle as he announced her casting back in 2019, with the star later sharing her excitement to be Ariel on Twitter (pictured filming in Sardinia)
Big role: The five-time Grammy nominee’s role will see her break through on the big screen, with her only recent acting role as a supporting character on Freeform’s Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi (pictured filming in Sardinia)
The five-time Grammy nominee’s role will see her break through on screen, with her only recent acting role as a supporting character on Freeform’s Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi.
In addition to Halle, the film stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle.
After his success in directing Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns, Rob is set to direct the blockbuster.
They rock! The group carefully descended the rocky terrain, with Halle’s face becoming completely covered by her sun hat as she focused on making it down the stone steps to the beach with her team and co-star
Music makers: As well as featuring an impressive cast, Alan Menken, the man behind the scores of the original 1989 film, will team up with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the music ensuring viewers are treated to a sensational musical experience
Alan Menken, the man behind the scores of the original 1989 film, will team up with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the music.
Halle and her elder sister Chloe, who is 22-years-old, first gained popularity for their YouTube covers.
Soon after their rise to fame, Beyonce found them and signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label before taking them as her opening act on tour.
Star-studded: In addition to Halle (pictured chatting at the beach in Sardinia while going over her scene last week), the film also stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle
Claim to fame: Halle (pictured during The Little Mermaid filming) and her elder sister Chloe, who is 22-years-old, first gained popularity for their YouTube covers before they were discovered by Beyonce and signed to the superstar’s label
Giving it a look: One man dressed in white shorts and a smart polo shirt surveyed the scene as the group watched on from the rocks and listened to his ideas
Up where they stay all day in the sun! Halle and Jonah seemed to be working on the famous scene where Ariel saves Prince Eric following a shipwreck in the 1989 Disney classic, The Little Mermaid (pictured in a still from the original Disney movie)
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