The Walt Disney Company

Halle Bailey has enjoyed musical success with her older sister Chloe as the duo Chloe x Halle, and now she feels she’s maturing as a woman with her starring role in The Little Mermaid.

Bailey portrays the underwater Disney princess Ariel in the upcoming live-action film.

“I’d definitely say coming into this film I was a lot more, I think, just young-minded and a bit more not sure of myself so much,” the 22-year-old entertainer tells People. “The whole experience of filming, in more ways than one, mirrored Ariel’s journey of finding herself and her voice.”

Disney debuted the official teaser trailer Friday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, and it earned over 104 million global views, according to Variety.

Zendaya, Halle Berry, Keke Palmer, Nicki Minaj and Amanda Gorman were among the celebrities praising the clip on Twitter.

In the teaser trailer, Bailey swims under water, leads viewers through her treasure trove and sings some of the lyrics to the iconic song “Part of Your World.”

“I remember at the end of filming, wrap day, I was just sobbing because I truly felt like I had come out of this cocoon with Ariel,” Bailey adds.

She says the film has “changed my perspective on everything” and “impacted my life in so many ways.” Bailey hopes that Black girls will be inspired by her performance.

“The fact that now it’s getting to be played by me, a person who looks like me, woman of color, I’m just like, wow, I’m so grateful what it will do for all the other little Black and brown boys and girls who will see themselves in me,” she says.

The Little Mermaid opens in theaters May 26, 2023.

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