Why Halle Bailey Says Filming The Little Mermaid Was the “Toughest” Experience Ever

It's a wrap for Halle Bailey! The singer revealed some of the hardest parts of playing Ariel onscreen, while sharing an early photo of herself as the titular princess in The Little Mermaid.

By Lindsay Weinberg Jul 12, 2021 10:14 PMTags
Watch: Yara Shahidi Says Halle Bailey "Couldn't Be More Perfect" for "Little Mermaid"

Wouldn't you think she's the girl—the girl who has everything?

Yet, it seems Halle Bailey has learned the seaweed is always greener in somebody else's lake. The actress, who just finished filming Disney's live-action version of The Little Mermaid, explained that playing Ariel has been one of the most difficult experiences for her because she missed her family.

"it has been the toughest experience being away from everything and everyone i've ever known, to feeling self doubt/ loneliness, but also feeling such freedom and perseverance as i've reached the end," Halle wrote on Instagram on Monday, July 12. "this experience has made me so much stronger than i ever thought i could be." 

The feeling appears to be mutual for her big sister, Chloe Bailey, who wrote, "SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! now come back home to me!!!!!"

Along with her candid message, Halle shared an early photo of herself as Ariel, taking in the sunset from the shore, much to the delight of Disney fans.

15 Secrets About The Little Mermaid Revealed

Although being away from home was a challenge for the 21-year-old singer, she celebrated all of the friendships and memories she made under the sea. 

"i'm so grateful to have such lovely and talented people in the cast," she shared in her post, shouting out her Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) as "my friend for infinite lifetimes." 


Halle said she's "so proud" of Jacob Tremblay, who plays Flounder, and thanked "legends" Javier Bardem (King Triton), Melissa McCarthy, (Ursula), Awkwafina (Scuttle) and Daveed Diggs (Sebastian), "who are masters of their craft but are so welcoming and open to little old me."

Jacob wrote back, saying, "I can't wait for the world to have the privilege to see & hear you as our Ariel. No one else could embody her spirit like you! Hope you get to enjoy some much deserved R&R." 

In her post, the Grown-ish star also explained, "after auditioning for this film when i was 18 just about to turn 19 , to now finishing filming through a pandemic when i turned 21 ..we have finally made it...i feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory."

She said she "cannot wait for time to speed up" so fans can watch The Little Mermaid, because "it was made with so much love (plus blood sweat and tears)." Halle added, "thank you sardinia for a wonderful ending!!!" 

Take a look at the cast below.


Halle Bailey is Disney's leading lady for the much anticipated live-action remake. The singer, who rose to fame as part of the duo Chloe x Halle, also stars in Grown-ish as Sky Forster. "dream come true...," she said in 2019 after being cast as the mermaid princess.

Prince Eric

Jonah Hauer-King is going to be part of Ariel's world, after earning the coveted role of the charming prince. You might also recognize him from Little WomenWorld on Fire and A Dog's Way Home.

King Triton

Skyfall star Javier Bardem is going to be one fierce king of the sea. He secured the highly-sought-after role of Ariel's overly-protective father.


Fins crossed that Jacob Tremblay will be the most Wonder-ful Flounder!


From Hamilton to Sebastian! Daveed Diggs will bring his Broadway talents to the big screen as the voice of Ariel's bestie (and fraidy cat) Sebastian the singing crab.


Fans are already roaring with delight over Melissa McCarthy's upcoming role as the evil sea witch. Are Gilmore Girls groupies ready for this one?


Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) will wield a dinglehopper in the live-action remake of this Disney classic by voicing Scuttle the seagull.