Grammy award-winning musician H.E.R. will be starring in a tale as old as time, as it’s been revealed that she’ll be taking on the role of Belle in ABC’s Beauty and The Beast 30th anniversary special.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the forthcoming special will be a mix of “live action and animation and new musical performances, sets and costumes inspired by the film. It will pay homage to the movie while also adding to its story. The special will be taped in front of a live audience and air on Dec. 15.” Hamish Hamilton will direct the special with John M. Chu executive producing.
Expressing her excitement over the role, H.E.R. said in a statement:
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy. The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle! I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
In his own statement, Chu shared how “thrilled” he is to work with the 25-year-old on their forthcoming project.
“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle, and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” he said. “We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
In addition to this special, as previously reported by The Root, H.E.R. will also be starring the upcoming movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple. She’ll be taking on the role of Squeak and starring alongside Danielle Brooks, Fantasia Taylor, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, and Corey Hawkins. The Color Purple, directed by Blitz Bazawule, premieres Dec. 20, 2023.