Original Ariel actress addresses Halle Bailey’s casting

Since Disney announced that singer-actress Halle Bailey would play the bright-eyed mermaid Ariel in its upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, it seemed everyone had something to say about the decision. Now, the woman whose shoes — err, fins — Bailey will fill has offered her thoughts.

Speaking at Florida Supercon on Saturday, July 6, original Ariel actress Jodi Benson defended Bailey’s casting in the new film, stating that the “most important thing is to tell the story,” not focus on what the actress playing Ariel looks like (via ComicBook.com).

“We have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart, and their spirit, is what really counts. And the outside package — ’cause let’s face it, I’m really, really old — and so when I’m singing ‘Part of Your…

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