Halle Berry Isn't Ariel in Live-Action 'Little Mermaid': The Mixup, Explained

That's singer-actress Halle BAILEY playing everyone's favorite mermaid.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

The casting in the live-action Little Mermaid movie has confused some people.


Next year, the live-action remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid will swim into theaters. But on its way to making Ariel part of our world, people are confusing the movie's actual star, Grammy-nominated singer Halle Bailey, with Oscar-winning actress Halle BERRY.

Halle Bailey, who's just 22, was cast as Ariel back in 2019. She's half of musical duo Chloe x Halle, along with her sister, and she plays Skyler Forster in the sitcom Grown-ish.

Halle Berry, of course, is an entirely different actress. Berry, 56, won an Academy Award for 2001's Monster's Ball, and an Emmy and Golden Globe for starring in 1999's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She's got a lengthy filmography, and made her directorial debut with Netflix's Bruised in 2020.

Numerous tweeters have complained about a 50-plus Berry playing the young mermaid -- which, of course, she's not. Berry has responded to a few. A recent, now-deleted tweet read "Halle Berry is nearly 60 playing the role of a 16-year-old girl. This is what happens when you upset a fandom."

Berry responded with a stunned silence meme.

One fan played along with the confusion by posting a GIF of Berry as Bond Girl Jinx walking out of the ocean in 2002's Die Another Day, writing, "Leaked footage of Ariel using her human legs for the first time..."

The person who deleted their tweet isn't alone in being confused. Online encyclopedia Wikipedia leads off both women's entries by noting "Not to be confused with..." and a link to the other Halle B's page.

And Berry's had to correct other people, such as with this 2021 tweet, where she told a confused fan, "Wrong Halle lol. I can't wait to see her too though!"

Berry herself has tweeted encouragement for her almost-namesake, writing, "Can't wait @HalleBailey."

And Bailey and Berry both weighed in with loving responses when a fan shared photos of them in similar gowns, so apparently they're members of a mutual admiration society.

The live action Little Mermaid is due out on May 26, 2023.

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