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Yara Shahidi shares her thoughts on being the first Black Tinkerbell. The actress credits Brandy as Cinderella and Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana for being instrumental to her development and seeing herself in these predominantly White spaces onscreen. Read more and watch her full interview with Blavity TV inside.

The “Grown-ish” star makes history as the first ever Black Tinkerbell in the upcoming film Peter Pan & Wendy. She says it’s all possible due to those who came before her, such as Brandy in Cinderella and Anika Noni Rose in The Princess and the Frog. 

The Disney+ film is a reimagining of the J.M. Barrie novel and the 1953 animated classic.

“It feels so special because I think when I took on the role of Tinkerbell,” Shahidi recalls in an interview with Shadow and Act. “I knew that inherently it’s a bigger deal because I don’t look like how Tinkerbells looked before me.”

Shahidi filmed Peter Pan & Wendy over a year ago, and says she had forgotten how influential the role might be to young girls and the world at large.

“Through the shooting process, I finished filming almost over a year ago, it was a very individualized kind of solo experience because it was me on a set kind of by myself when I was filming,” Shahidi said. “So I almost forgot what it meant until we started dropping the posters and things. I was definitely so excited and overwhelmed by the love.”

She goes on to talk about the impact of the Tinkerbell Barbie doll, and how young girls are able to see themselves represented on and offscreen.

“I think even when they announced the Tinkerbell Barbie doll, being able to see how many people were excited about getting that for the little ones in their life,” Shahidi added. “The amount of people that were like, ‘Wow, I wish I had that,’ it so special because I mean, I don’t know who I’d be without Brandy’s Cinderella or without Anika Noni Rose’s The Princess and The Frog or really any of those people that [were] so instrumental in my growing up and really, truly believing that I could be in any of these spaces.”

History is made! Catch Peter Pan & Wendy streaming on Disney+ now.

Watch Blavity TV’s full interview with Yara below:

Watch: Yara Shahidi Credits Brandy & Anika Noni Rose For Her Becoming The First Black Tinkerbell  was originally published on globalgrind.com

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