Halle Bailey was “stunned” when she was approached to audition for the lead part in The Little Mermaid remake.

Back in 2019, the 23-year-old singer got her first lead film role as Ariel in Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the 1989 animated film.

Halle told reporters at the film’s London premiere on Monday that she was surprised when she was approached to audition for the legendary part.

“I was stunned when I was first asked to audition; I was like, ‘What?!'” “This is the princess I’ve known and loved for so long, and for them to be asking about me was honestly quite surprising,” she recounted. “And then, when I found out I got the role, I was squealing with joy and instantly so nervous because I wanted to do a good job, do my best, and make everyone proud.”

Halle then praised her co-stars, including Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, and Jonah Hauer-King, for being “so warm and welcoming” on set, as well as the original Ariel, Jodi Benson, for her casting.

Related: Halle Bailey’s “The Little Mermaid” Poster Brings Under the Sea Magic to Life

“It means everything to me to have Jodi Benson’s blessing, I mean, she’s an icon, a legend, she’s lived in our hearts for so long, so to have her stamp of approval, it really means everything,” she added of the voice actress.

The Chloe x Halle actress also previewed the film’s four new songs, calling one “a dream come true” since it “really quenched (her) thirst as a singer” and allowed her “rip” vocally.

The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26.


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