Halle Bailey & Rachel Zegler Address Hate Over Their Disney Roles & How They Rise Above

Disney Princess Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler reflected on their experiences bringing Ariel and Snow White to life while participating in Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

If you forgot, Halle, 23, starred in The Little Mermaid this year. Rachel, 22 will bring Snow White to life in a live action movie next year.

Both casting decisions were met with hate online, a fact that the two women addressed during their conversation.

They explained how they responded, what it was like and what made the hate worth it in the long run.

Keep reading to find out more…

“You proved them wrong with grace. I was so inspired by the way you handled anybody who had anything bad to say about it,” Rachel told Halle before asking, “Did you ever let it affect you at all? You definitely didn’t publicly.

“Of course, yeah. I mean, we’re sensitive. We’re human beings. I get my feelings hurt if my cat doesn’t want to sit next to me,” Halle admitted.

She continued, saying, “That’s what people don’t realize: We’re granted amazing opportunities and able to be seen on massive screens, but there is a dissociation. People start taking you away from being a real human being that has feelings and reacts to things.”

“That was definitely something that I had to navigate. But it turned out to be the most beautiful lesson — to block any naysayers or negativity out,” Halle reflected, adding that she often wanted to respond to the hate but found a way to avoid it.

Rachel related, saying, “Choosing thankfulness and gratefulness is choosing peace. As much as you’d like to remind people verbally that being in the spotlight doesn’t absolve you of your humanity — that you’re allowed to have human moments — it doesn’t necessarily do what you want it to do. It fuels them more.”

The women both seemed to agree that it was worth it to see the way young fans responded to their work, too.

Halle opened up about her response to little girls who related to her as Ariel.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself at first. I would be in tears and so grateful to see them be happy about it,” she recalled. “These babies were armor for me to put on whenever I felt I was getting consumed with other chatter about my casting.”

Meanwhile, Rachel expressed hope that her casting would open the door and create more opportunities.

If you missed it, Rachel recently revealed that her version of Snow White will not be the same as the animated one.

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