CHICAGO -- As we count down the days until the 2023 reimagining of Disney's "The Little Mermaid," stars Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King spoke about their magical roles.
It's been a long wait for this release for stars and fans alike.
"Oh, it feels so amazing to have this movie come out," Bailey said. "I mean, we have worked on this for a very long time, there have been stops and starts because of the world."
In "The Little Mermaid," both Eric and Ariel are searching for another way of living, which Bailey said adds a deeper layer to their love story.
"That's what ultimately connected them, was their shared values and experience in life and wanting something greater for both of them," she said.
"Getting into that shipwreck and being saved by this girl, I think that's a catalyst for him to chase after that," Hauer-King said of Prince Eric. "He's longing to find this girl that found him, but I think that represents something even bigger. It represents him wanting to go out into the world and learn about other people."
Bailey's casting as Ariel drew strong reactions from the public.
"Seeing the children's and the babies' reactions, saying 'Wow, she looks like me,' it's so immense and it makes me emotional whenever I think about it. But it's been lovely," she said. "I had an interaction at Disney World the other day with this beautiful little girl named Mila Rose. She squeezed me so tight, she didn't say a word, she reached out her arms and just squeezed me and did not want to let go. It healed every emotion inside of me, and made my whole life. That's the reason why we do this."
"The Little Mermaid" arrives in theaters Thursday.
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