How Halle Bailey Snuck In To Opening Night Of The Little Mermaid

"The Little Mermaid" is Disney's newest live-action film. Ariel joins Cinderella, Belle, Mulan, Jasmine, and Sleeping Beauty, who have all had Hollywood stars bring their animated characters to life. Singer-songwriter Halle Bailey plays the underwater royalty.

Bailey is half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle with her older sister, Chloe. She also starred in the TV series "Grown-ish" and appeared in a couple of Disney Channel productions. But "The Little Mermaid" won't be the only musical Bailey features in. She is set to star as young Nettie in a musical rendition of "The Color Purple."

With her busy schedule making music and movies and attending premieres, Bailey carved out the time to sneak into the opening night of the Disney princess movie. Surely, she could have secured the best seats if she pleased. But the movie's leading lady wore a disguise and enjoyed the film as if she was seeing it for the first time.

She had the perfect disguise

With a trendy pair of square sunglasses and a face mask, Halle Bailey secured popcorn in the special edition "The Little Mermaid" container and entered the theater. It only took two accessories to stop hundreds of fans from forgoing the movie and running her down. It also helped that her signature locs were transformed into jumbo twists.

In the video, you can spot moviegoers taking photos with the wall-size mermaid poster, completely unaware they were making a cameo in Bailey's TikTok. She captioned the undercover mission, "Can't believe the little mermaid is the #1 movie in the world you guys!! Went to the theatre to go see it last night."

The singer and actress' rendition of "Part of Your World" played along with the video. That song holds special significance, as it was the tune Bailey sang when she auditioned for the part of Ariel. Her angelic vocals are partly how she landed the role. Director Rob Marshall told Variety, "When she finished, I was in tears because she's so soulful. You could tell right away that she was able to harness Ariel's passion, her fire, her soul, her joy and her heart." Bailey's talent is undeniable, much like the success of the live-action movie.

'The Little Mermaid' is a box office hit

"The Little Mermaid" was released Memorial weekend. It grossed $96 million during its first three days on the big screen. These numbers are similar to Disney's 2019 live-action "Aladdin," which scooped over $90 million in its opening days and $1 billion overall. Including international viewership, the Disney princess racked in $163.5 million. "The Little Mermaid" is the fifth-largest Memorial Day weekend debut — Top Gun: Maverick," released in 2022, holds the number one spot.

This success is rather groundbreaking as the film initially faced hate because Halle Bailey was cast as the Disney princess. The movie creators knew Bailey was the right Ariel from the beginning, but racist rhetoric flooded social media. However, the star told The Los Angeles Times she chose to see the bright side. "The racism didn't surprise me," she said. "It's a little disappointing, but it's bound to happen. I didn't let it affect me and just focused on the positive response I was getting. This moment is so much bigger than any of that." Bailey recognized the importance of the role, noting, "Especially for the Black and brown babies out there, I hope they feel filled with love and confidence in who they are, because it's essential that they see themselves in roles like these."

Bailey's portrayal of the underwater princess continues to captivate audiences worldwide. If she risks sneaking into a theater to see it after already starring in the movie and going to weeklong premieres, then you know it's amazing.