Lea Michele will not be going under the sea. The former Glee actress played Ariel in the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid stage production. The casting has led many to question whether Michele will make an appearance in the televised version of The Little Mermaid Live!
Michele will NOT be in The Little Mermaid Live! Auli’i Cravalho will be playing the titular role instead, following her breakout voice performance in the the animated Disney film Moana. Cravalho told Entertainment Weekly that she was honored to stand alongside the other talented actresses who have played Ariel.
Michele Will NOT Be Appearing in ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’
“I don’t know that there really is a way to describe the feeling of being able to play two Disney princesses. I am so honored to be not only Moana but lend my voice to Ariel,” she gushed. “I couldn’t imagine — well, I don’t think there are any more water princesses. I think I did them all.”
Michele played Ariel for a two-night performance at the Hollywood Bowl in May. The production was titled The Little Mermaid—An Immersive Live-to-Film Concert Experience, and saw the return of legendary Disney composer Alan Menken. Michele recently talked to Billboard about her impressive stage career.
She Previously Played Ariel During a Two-Night Performance At the Hollywood Bowl
“Broadway is definitely my home and I would be happy to go back there at any time,” she explained. “Being part of Spring Awakening, it was such an iconic, incredible show that I found myself to be very picky in choosing which show it would be to bring me back to Broadway. When you’re doing eight shows a week you have to really love what you’re doing in order to do that every single night. So I want to be very thoughtful in my decision and make sure I take on something that I’m very passionate about.”
The actress went on to discuss her process for choosing parts, and why she feels its important to be selective. “I think as women it’s challenging to find roles that I think are strong enough, so I decided I wanted to make my own opportunity and started to executive produce and create projects of my own which I’ll be able to announce pretty soon,” she said. “It has been really great to take on that role and feel in control of finding parts of myself to play that I think are challenging and worthy and interesting.”
Michele Will Be Releasing a Christmas Album In December
Michele is set to release her next album, Christmas In the City, in December. “Christmas music is so special to me,” she told Good Morning America. “I remember every Christmas morning with my mom and dad it always centered around what album we were listening to and what Christmas music was playing, so this has been a dream of mine for a really long time.”
The album will be produced by the Anders brothers, who contributed to the music on Glee. “I wanted to work with them again because they are like family to me, and I’m so happy when I’m with them,” Michele said. “It just reminds me of this time in my life that was truly so special and meaningful to me, so I felt that the joy of working with them would sort of penetrate into the record.”