Halle Bailey says she “freaked out” when Nicki Minaj reacted to ‘The Little Mermaid’ trailer

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

When the trailer for The Little Mermaid dropped, fans and celebrities alike reacted to seeing Halle Bailey‘s version of Ariel. In her cover story for Vogue Arabia, the actress describes her reaction when she learned a famous rapper had shared a post reacting to the clip.

“When I saw Nicki Minaj’s tweet I freaked out,” she says. Minaj had written, “When this come out no one speak to me. Even papa bear betta not get on mama nerves that day.”

“I’m such a fan of so many artists, so to have their stamp of approval is huge,” Halle continues. “It’s moments like that when you just pinch yourself.” Seeing “the reaction of all the beautiful children,” she adds, also meant a lot to her.

As the lead character in The Little Mermaid, Halle says she felt some pressure to deliver, given the history of the film and its home on Disney. “I felt an immense responsibility just because of how much Ariel meant to me. It’s crazy how you think it’s just a movie,” she says. “But Disney means so much to so many people. Films are like the footprint of some of these adults now, so I did feel a duty to just do it justice.”

Despite reservations about her starring role, she hopes “that people who aren’t sure about it, go and watch the film and realize we did the original justice.”

Ariel is one of two characters Halle has recently taken on; she’ll also appear in the Color Purple reboot. “It feels incredible to be working on such big, important films,” she says. “I’m just glad that we get to remake these movies so that new generations can see what the hype is all about and experience these wonderful stories first-hand.”

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