Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi cast as Tinkerbell for new Disney live-action Peter Pan film

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Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi cast as Tinkerbell for new Disney live-action Peter Pan film

US actress Yara Shahidi has been cast as Tinkerbell in Disney’s new live-action Peter Pan film.

The forthcoming movie, called Peter Pan and Wendy, will also star Jude Law as villain Captain Hook.
It is the latest in Disney’s live-action remakes of animated classics, following on from Aladdin, The Lion King and Mulan.

Shahidi’s casting marks the latest move in Disney’s ongoing efforts to improve diversity.

Shahidi will be the first black actress to play Tinkerbell in a major production of Peter Pan, a story which was first written in 1911 by JM Barrie and tells the story of a boy who never grows up.

The role of Tinkerbell has traditionally been played by a white actor – Julia Roberts and Ludivine Sagnier are among the stars who have previously played the fairy.

Shahidi’s casting in Peter Pan and Wendy, will be directed by David Lowery.

She may only be 20 years old, but Yara Shahidi has been acting for more than a decade.
The actress had a guest appearance in US TV series Entourage at the age of seven and has since appeared in films alongside Samuel L Jackson, Angelina Jolie and Eddie Murphy.

Her biggest role to date, however, came in 2013, when she was cast in the hugely popular US comedy series Black-ish.

Shahidi played Zoey, the daughter of Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), and was one of the main characters for the first three seasons of the show.
Black-ish explored issues of class and race in America, and was a commercial and critical success, with Ross winning the Golden Globe for best comedy actress in 2017.

The series was so popular, it prompted a spin-off named Grown-ish, which centred on Zoey. Shahidi has starred in every series since, while continuing to appear occasionally in Black-ish.

Shahidi has become as well known for her political activism as she has for her acting.
She founded the Eighteen x 18 organisation, which encourages young people to become more engaged with politics.

The group is currently campaigning for young people to register to vote ahead of the US Presidential election in November.

Shahidi is a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and previously donated to a fund for Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who sparked a fierce debate across the US by kneeling during the national anthem in protest against social injustice and police brutality.
Oprah Winfrey has previously said she hopes she lives long enough to see Shahidi become president, while Michelle Obama wrote her letter of recommendation for admission to Harvard.