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Inspirational Lessons from The Little Mermaid Stars
In a wonderful collaboration between The Female Lead and Girlguiding, a group of Brownies from south London had a remarkable opportunity to meet and interview the stars of Disney's highly anticipated remake of The Little Mermaid.
Eleanor, an 8-year-old Brownie, and Naomi, a 7-year-old Brownie from the 62nd Croydon Brownies, had the privilege of interviewing Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, and Jacob Tremblay about their experiences while filming the new live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
During the conversation with Eleanor and Naomi, Halle Bailey, who portrays Ariel, shared an empowering message:
"I truly believe that girls like you can learn to go after what you want in life - follow your dreams no matter what. I think Ariel felt just that; she had so much to pursue, so much to do, and so much she wanted for herself. So, she went out there and she got it. Even though there were trials and tribulations, including her encounters with Ursula and what she was willing to sacrifice, in the end, she was happy that she gave it all to follow her dreams and go after what she wanted."
When asked about his favorite part of filming, Jonah Hauer-King, who portrays Prince Eric, revealed, "There were so many parts that I loved... But I'd say the standout best thing was probably meeting Halle and getting to work with her because she's so special and such a brilliant actor. I learned so much from her, professionally but also as a person."
With a focus on Girlguiding's mission to empower girls, the Brownies sought advice from the actors and discussed the importance of strong female characters in films. Halle expressed, "I think it's so important for us to see strong girls and women in movies because it's an example of what we can be in the future. I remember Princess Tiana from my favorite movie, Princess and the Frog, and how she worked so hard in the kitchen, cooking for what she wanted, her dreams for her restaurant. If you work hard, put in the time, and be a kind person, you can really do anything you set your mind to. There's a similar message in The Little Mermaid that Ariel conveys, and I hope all of you can see that and be inspired to go after what you want."
When asked about the best advice they received from a female role model, Jacob Tremblay, who voiced Flounder, shared his thoughts: "For me, it's going to be my Mom. I wouldn't say it's a specific piece of advice she's given me, but over the years, she's been there for me, making sure I feel free and can be myself, pursuing the passions I want in filmmaking."
Daveed Diggs, who voiced Sebastian, imparted wisdom from a female director he had previously worked with Martha Z West: "She was the first person to tell me that when I'm performing, I get to bring my whole self to it. Everything that you are, you get to bring it to every role. I think about that almost every day."
In addition to the interview, Eleanor and Naomi presented the stars with a special Girlguiding The Little Mermaid badge, created to celebrate the film's release. Halle was deeply moved by the gesture, exclaiming, "Wow, that's going to make me cry!"
Reflecting on the experience, Eleanor, the 8-year-old Brownie, expressed her excitement, saying, "I loved meeting all the stars from the film - it was such a fun day. My favourite character from the movie was Ursula – she was a bit scary, but I loved her songs!”