Before you read:
H.E.R. recently talked about the significant Filipino elements present in ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast” anniversary special.
The award-winning musician, born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, made history on Dec. 15 as the first-ever Afro Filipino actor to play the role of Belle onscreen.
The animated and live-action hybrid special “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” paid homage to the 1991 Disney film while also featuring original live performances on reimagined sets with new costumes.
During an interview with Philstar at ABS-CBN Global and MYX’s “Mixer” party on Tuesday night, H.E.R. discussed a few Filipino elements in the anniversary special that some viewers might have missed.
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In addition to the apron she wore, which featured indigenous Baybayin writing that says “Bel,” H.E.R. mentioned Filipino American actor Jon Jon Briones, who plays the role of Maurice, Belle’s father.
“The apron is Baybayin but also, my dad in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is Filipino! It’s really, really cool that I have a Filipino father,” she said. “Working with him is just awesome! We had so much fun!”
The singer-songwriter also mentioned that “she made sure to inject Filipinos’ signature positive outlook and fighting spirit,” Philstar reported.
“I’ve seen and experienced that a lot of times that you were seen as less than or underestimated. Belle sees more regardless of what anybody says. And I believe that anybody should live that way – that they should see more and be themselves and know that anything is possible and you can reach your dreams, and she has that, and I get to show that in my own Filipino way – good vibes, positive attitude.”
“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” premiered on ABC on Dec. 15 and on Disney Plus on Dec. 16.