Halle Bailey Worked With Synchronized Swimmers to Craft the Perfect Ariel Swim: ‘Fulfilled All My Little Girl Dreams’ (Video)
Halle Bailey is ready to make her big screen debut as Ariel in Rob Marshall’s live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.” But before the actress and singer dove under the sea, she first had to discover the perfect mermaid swim.
“The process of working with the [mermaid] tail was an unforgettable one,” Bailey told TheWrap. “I remember before going to London, I actually had this beautiful training session with these amazing synchronized swimmers that would come to my house every Sunday.”
The swimmers, according to Bailey, would take the actress through the steps of learning how to swim like a mermaid. With the help of a model fin, Bailey learned the gracefulness and ease of swimming like a mermaid, eventually cultivating the perfect Ariel swim.
But the process of filming her scenes as Ariel were vastly different than this training period.
“When I actually got on set, there was a lot of it on blue screen where I did not have to wear the tail [so] the stunt team just kind of pasted my two legs together [and] in post[-production] they put the tail on,” Bailey said. The scenes where Ariel is on the shore were the last ones where she got to wear an actual tail.
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Regardless, wearing the mermaid tail “fulfilled all my little girl dreams,” Bailey said.
“The Little Mermaid” is the latest in Disney’s string of live-action reinterpretations of their original animated features. The next in the pipeline include remakes of 2002’s “Lilo & Stitch” and 2016’s “Moana.”
The process of bringing Bailey’s Ariel to the big screen was not an easy one. The young actress has been the subject of racist attacks on social media in the wake of her casting. The topic became so intense it caused former “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah to comment on them last September.
“Once again, a bunch of internet racists are upset that a fictional character is being played by a Black person, and honestly I don’t know what the big deal is,” Noah said before joking, “You guys realize that Nemo was Black too, right? Yeah, that whole movie was about a fish that can’t find his dad. Calm down, I can say that because my dad left and he’s white, so who’s racist now?”
Watch the full video of Bailey discussing “The Little Mermaid” above.
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