Halle Bailey Clarifies How to Pronounce Her Name: 'So Many' Get It Wrong

Halle Bailey is clearing up how her name is actually pronounced. The Little Mermaid actress, 22, went Live on Instagram Wednesday to have a Q&A session with fans, during which she answered a question as to how to say her name correctly. "It's literally just Halle," she explained, pronouncing her first name the same way Halle Berry is pronounced. 

The rising star said she appreciated the question "because so many people don't know how to pronounce it correctly," adding that it's "not Holly, not Haley. It's Halle. Okay? Thank you." Bailey is stepping into the limelight as Ariel in Disney's new live-action version of The Little Mermaid, which premieres in theaters on May 26. The actress and singer appeared at Sunday's Academy Awards to help introduce the first official full-length trailer alongside co-star Melissa McCarthy, who plays Ursula.

McCarthy praised the film, saying, "1,735 remarkable film artists, technicians and craftspeople came together to tell this new story." She continued, "And I may be biased, but I have enjoyed making this film and it has been a complete joy."Bailey "absolutely" agreed. "And it has been such an honor stepping into the iconic role of Ariel," she said. "It's been an extraordinary experience, a dream come true for me."

Bailey has been open about dealing with the backlash she's received as a Black actress for playing the role of the mermaid Ariel, telling The Face last month it wasn't a "shock" to her. "As a Black person, you just expect it and it's not really a shock anymore," the Grammy nominee said. The backlash wasn't enough to extinguish Bailey's passion for playing the role of Ariel, however. "People don't understand that when you're Black there's this whole other community," she explained. "It's so important for us to see ourselves."

Bailey also credited the team behind The Little Mermaid for allowing her to express her identity even while taking on the classic character, especially in regard to her hair. "As a Black woman, hair is spiritual, especially locs," Bailey said, explaining that a significant amount of time on set was dedicated to analyzing how her hair moved in water. "It was really cool for them to make Ariel a version of me with my locs."