'Black-ish' actress Yara Shahidi talks playing 1st Black Tinker Bell in 'Peter Pan and Wendy'

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Yara Shahidi plays 1st Black Tinker Bell in 'Peter Pan and Wendy'
'Black-ish' actress Yara Shahidi spoke with ABC7 about playing the first Black Tinker Bell in "Peter Pan and Wendy" on Disney Plus.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Get ready for a whole new take on a classic tale when "Peter Pan & Wendy" debuts on Disney+ on Friday.

Yara Shahidi, is best known for starring in "Black-ish" and "Grown-ish." Now, she's spreading her wings as Tinker Bell!

She told ABC7's Hosea Sanders that as an actress of color, the role is a breakthrough opportunity.

"It took a moment for me to even process that, and then from there I was just excited to have an experience that was so different from anything that I've ever done, and I'm sure anything I ever will do," Shahidi said of when she was first approached for the role. "I love those magical worlds, and I was that kid that swore I could fly until the age of 7."

Shahidi spoke about being the Black woman to every play Tinker Bell.

"When I think of this next generation of stories that are going to be told, both animated and live action, with people of color, and that part makes me really looking forward to what's to come next," Shahidi said. "Fairy tales are how we define what's possible and how big we dream and I think so many people, especially so many Brown and Black kids deserve the right to dream so big, and see themselves as magical beings."

There's quite a bit of diversity in the film.

"It is because you get to see all of these people deal with growing up differently, who come from these different backgrounds that make this story worth telling again," Shahidi said.

Shahidi also spoke about what the character of Zoe Johnson has meant to her and to the culture at large.

"I love me some Zoe. To play a character who's just too human, and at times a little too messy, but always trying, and always looking to get better has been really such a privilege," Shahidi said. "If I were to spend nine years playing one person, it'd be Zoe."