HomeFilipino AmericanH.E.R. set to play Belle in Beauty & the Beast special

H.E.R. set to play Belle in Beauty & the Beast special

Grammy winning singer/songwriter H.E.R. is about to go where no other Black and Filipina American has gone before.

She will play a Disney princess in the 30th anniversary special of Beauty and the Beast.

“I never thought I could be a Disney princess,” she said to Good Morning America. “Of course every little girl wants to be a Disney princess, but I’ve never seen one that looks like me — so I get to be that to little girls now.”

Gabriella Wilson, H.E.R.’s real name, will star opposite John Groban as The Beast.

Director Jon Chu will executive produce the show which airs December 15th on ABC.

Beauty and the Beast was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me,” Chu said in a statement. “With world-class creatives and talent to reinterpret the classic musical numbers (with a few surprises), I can’t wait for the audiences, in person and at home, to experience what we have in store for them. It’s a true celebration of creativity.”

The star-studded cast also includes Rita Moreno as the narrator, Joshua Henry as Gaston, Martin Short as Lumière, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, Rizwan Manji as LeFou, Jon Jon Briones as Maurice, Leo Abelo Perry as Chip, and Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts.

H.E.R. will join Chu as a producer of the program.

“On top of being a producer on Beauty and the Beast, which is crazy,” H.E.R. said “I got to do a lot of the new arrangements and work with Alan Menken, the original arranger and producer. It’s been an amazing experience just learning so much about myself and it’s been a lot of fun honestly.”

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