Yara Shahidi opened up about her new role as Tinker Bell and representation during an interview with Byrdie. Published on Tuesday (March 21), the cover star detailed the importance of her character in the upcoming live-action film Peter Pan & Wendy.
“They wanted to bring some new fun to this classic but also give us the fairy tale we deserve,” she said. “It’s evident they’re not just popping Black and Brown folks in the cast for the sake of updating the story. Instead, it’s about creating a story that so many more people can see themselves in after we’ve been left out for so long.”
The Grown-Ish star landing the role traditionally played by a white actress can be grouped with the talents of H.E.R., who recently led as Belle in a live-action Beauty And The Beast, and Halle Bailey who stars in the upcoming The Little Mermaid as Ariel. Shahidi and Bailey have been notoriously targeted with racist remarks for their fictional portrayals.
“What’s been beautiful is seeing the response to both of our characters and seeing how many people feel included in this fairy tale, while also maintaining the magic that we love in the first place,” shared the 23-year-old with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.
“I think oftentimes people think of diversity and inclusion as threatening or jeopardizing the quality of the story, instead of seeing how beautifully they can be interwoven together to create something that impacts even more people, that lets even more people into stories that we love.”
Watch the trailer for Peter Pan & Wendy below.