Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler Discuss Being Princesses

Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler were featured on Variety’s latest episode of the Actors on Actors series. As the two Disney Princesses bonded over their relatively newfound fame, discussions of online hate and mutual support came up. Check out Bailey’s Tweet supporting Zegler here:

And read excerpts from the interview here:

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

Bailey: “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.”

Zegler: “I’m the same way.”

Bailey: “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. Also, I’m an Aries, so I’m a fire sign. People are like, ‘Oh, she’s so sweet. She’s so nice.’ But a lot of times when I see stuff online, I get mad.”

Zegler: “Of course.”

Bailey: “I want to respond, but I’ll just be like, ‘No, it’s OK.’ The way you’re so graceful and respond, it’s just the most beautiful thing to see. Because it’s hard being women under the spotlight. People are so critical and say anything that they would never say to your face.”

Zegler: “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.”


Zegler: “It’s true though. Because we’re making things that make people connect with one another. And there are people out there who say things that make people want to not come together, that make people want to fight. And it’s just not worth the time and energy.”

Bailey: “Stay grateful and ignore the hate.”

Zegler has previously called the Snow White tale “weird” and the prince “a guy who literally stalks” the title Princess.

I find this very interesting because I liked Halle Bailey’s performance quite a bit, and she seems like a genuinely nice person. I can’t say any of that for Rachel Zegler. Even once the film comes out, I seriously doubt she’ll win me over because it feels like she’s been trying to alienate Disney fans. She’s like Emma Watson, but worse. Both actresses have seen backlash to their respective castings, but I don’t see them the same way. For one thing, people came for Bailey just because they thought Ariel shouldn’t be black. Nothing I’ve seen indicates that she deserved any of the criticism. I think Snow White actually does need to be white, but I don’t see any significance in Ariel’s ethnicity.

Rachel Zegler Halle Bailey

However, I was more than willing to give Zegler a chance. I defended her when I perceived racist criticism lodged at her. It should go without saying that nobody can help what race they are, and people shouldn’t be mistreated or criticized for those traits. But Zegler has been more than a little annoying in recent months, and I’m tired of hearing what she thinks about the Snow White story and her relative lack of familiarity with the animated film. Despite gloating about dressing as the character, I read that she’s seen the movie once or twice and didn’t like it. That’s not the person I want to see embodying the character.  

Rachel Zegler Halle Bailey,

Bailey, by contrast, has been consistently positive and uplifting in her interactions with fans. You can point out all day that she doesn’t look like the animated Ariel, but she was one of the only good things about the remake. Her voice is gorgeous, and she’s very pretty; they took away from her natural beauty in the film, in my opinion. I think it’s wrong to conflate these two because they’re not white, and they play princesses. I have no issue with Halle Bailey as a performer or a person, based on the little we know of her, but Zegler comes off as entitled, preoccupied with gender and social issues, and ungrateful. The part about embracing gratitude legitimately made me laugh.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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