Auli'i Cravalho Celebrates Fellow Ariel, Halle Bailey, After Casting Backlash (Exclusive)

Auli'i Cravalho
Morgan Lieberman/FilmMagic

See the 18-year-old's reaction to the controversy.

One Ariel is celebrating another!

ET's Katie Krause caught up with Auli'I Cravalho, who was recently cast as the lead in ABC's upcoming Little Mermaid Live!, at the Variety Power of Young Hollywood gala on Tuesday, where she shared her excitement for Halle Bailey, the actress starring in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the beloved story.

"Oh, I can't wait to see her and congratulate her," Cravalho gushed while on the red carpet. When asked about the backlash that Bailey received based on her race after she was cast, she said, "Yeah I think there's so much room for so many different types of Ariels and so many mermaids. I'm so honored to be able to lend my voice and my interpretation of Ariel and I cannot wait to see Halle's." 

While on hand, the 18-year-old actress discussed nabbing the role of Ariel in the TV event, which airs on Nov. 5.

"I'm so incredibly honored to be able to play one Disney princess that went beyond the reef and now to play another that goes under the sea, I am... My mind is blown!" she said, referencing providing the voice in 2016's Moana

"So, we get to pay homage and appreciate the original animation and then we have live performances that are gonna be spectacular with not only me, thankfully, getting to play Ariel, but also Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian. C'mon!" she added of the special, which marks the animated classic's 30-year anniversary.

ET also caught up with Bailey at the event, where she shared her reaction to getting the opportunity to take on the Disney character in the new film.

"It means so much to me," the 19-year-old entertainer shared. "I feel very honored and really grateful for the opportunity. Ariel was one of my favorite princesses growing up, so it's a dream come true. I'm very excited and happy."

ET spoke with Melissa McCarthy on Monday at the Hollywood premiere of her new film The Kitchen as well where she played coy about rumors that she's taking on the role of the villainess Ursula in the film.

"Who's Ursula?" McCarthy asked, blatantly feigning ignorance but with a knowing smile.
"But am I interested? I'm very interested," she quickly added, before overtly winking to the camera several times with a sly smile. 

See more on the upcoming movie below.