It’s a tale as old as time – with a twist.
Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician H.E.R. has found her next gig, and it’s something that some might be surprised about. The singer/songwriter will get to flex her acting chops in ABC’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast special. The production will be an animated and live-action hybrid set to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.
According to Deadline, H.E.R. will play Belle and participate in never-before-seen live musical performances comprised of brand new sets and costumes all paying homage to the animated Disney classic.
Jon M. Chu (In The Heights) will serve as executive producer, while Hamish Hamilton (2020’s The Disney Family Singalong) will direct.
Although this is technically the first time H.E.R. will act in front of a live audience, she’s set to make her big screen acting debut in next year’s musical adaptation and remake of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.
In a statement made to the media following the announcement, the artist said, “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!”
This production marks the first time that someone of Afro-Filipina descent portrays the character.
“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.”
The production will taped in front of a live studio audience, but won’t air until December 15th. After it initially premieres on ABC, it’ll be available to stream on Disney+ the next day.
We anticipate more casting announcements in the coming weeks.