She's played not one, but two Disney princesses of the sea!
We heard her voice long before we even heard her name — because she was the one who gave life to Moana, Disney's first-ever Pacific princess!
And after successfully playing Ariel on November 7 in ABC's live version of The Little Mermaid, it's now been announced that she'll be starring in a new show on Amazon!
Who is Auli'i Cravalho?
A native of Hawaii, Cravalho made history when she was cast as the voice of Moana in the hit Disney animated film of the same name. Cravalho was one of the first prominent Pacific Island actresses to get such a large role in a Disney film, so her casting was an important move for diversity.
She starred opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who based his character of Maui on his own grandfather!
After reprising her Moana role in 2018's Ralph Breaks The Internet, she was cast as Ariel in ABC's “The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!”
Now, she's been cast alongside Leslie Mann in Amazon's upcoming thriller series "The Power" — and we couldn't be more excited about it.
Let's look at what we know about this lovely lady, Auli'i Cravalho.
1. Amazon's "The Power" will be her second lead role in a scripted series
Cravalho, who was born on November 22, 2000, starred as Lilette Suarez in the short-lived NBC drama "Rise."
The Wrap reports that "The Power", based on Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name and in which Caravlho will play Mann's teenaged daughter, "takes place in a world where all teenage girls develop the power to electrocute people and then find out they can awaken this ability in older women."
2. Cravalho says she felt "blessed" to have now played two Disney princesses
She says that she loved acting and singing, and feels extremely grateful lucky to do so for one of the best-known companies in the world.
3. She earned rave reviews for her role in "The Little Mermaid Live!"
Variety gushed that, "as Ariel, Auliʻi Cravalho brought a moving earnestness throughout, one that provided a compelling match to the animated material."
And per Deadline, "Cravalho, donning the red wig, played the part with real joy. Although near-immobile most of the time due to that fin, the actress and her crystalline voice seemed destined for Disney."
4. There are rumors she may be cast in the rebooted "Gossip Girl"
As Refinery29 correctly pointed out, the original "Gossip Girl", while a popular show, had a huge diversity problem, i.e., "most of the characters are white and straight."
The outlet batted around a few names as possible contenders for the new version of the show, and Auli'i Cravalho came up at the top of the list of good possibilities for Blair 2.0.
5. Although she has a Hawaiian name, she has a diverse heritage
According to Honolulu Magazine, Auli'i Cravalho has a very Hawaiian (and beautiful!) name, as well as a diverse heritage, being of Native Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Chinese and Irish ancestry.
“I love it that Disney has chosen to create a film about the Polynesian culture," she said. "I also feel the weight of that, too."
6. She almost didn't try out for Moana!
Imagine how different things would be today if she didn't listen to her agent!
According to People, Cravalho initially didn't want to try out for Moana because "there were already so many great submissions over YouTube,” and she didn't think she was good enough.
Fortunately, an Oahu casting agent discovered her singing during a charity competition, after which she was flown to LA. The producers loved her and the rest, as they say, is history!
We're glad the agent made her change her mind!
Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Visit her website for more information.