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Grammy-winning Fil-Am artist H.E.R. to portray Belle in new 'Beauty and the Beast' special

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jul 21, 2022 1:15 pm

From Grammy-winner, Oscar-winner, to Disney Princess.

Multi-awarded artist H.E.R. (real name: Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson) is set to portray Belle from Beauty and the Beast in an upcoming celebration of the beloved Disney film's 30th anniversary.

The four-time Grammy winner is set to play the pivotal role in the hybrid special that will feature live-action musical performances along with animated scenes. It will be released on December 15 on the American broadcast channel, ABC, and will soon be available for streaming on Disney+ on December 16.

In The Heights director Jon M. Chu will serve as executive producer, with Super Bowl halftime show director Hamish Hamilton helming the project.

H.E.R.'s role serves as a win for diversity, as it is first time that a Filipino will portray Belle in popular media.

“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ legacy,” the 25-year-old shared per Variety.

"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."

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Meanwhile, Chu credited H.E.R.'s "obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence" as the driving force in choosing her for the iconic role.

"We are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” said Chu. "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."

Aside from her Grammy accolades, H.E.R. has also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the track Fight for You for the 2021 film Judas and the Black Messiah.