(NEW YORK) — It’s safe to say it was an easy transition for Misty Copeland to become Ballerina Princess in the new Disney film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Copeland, who made history as the first African American female Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, says The Nutcracker ballet has always been a staple in her life as a ballet dancer.
“The Nutcracker is so much a part of what we do,” Copeland tells ABC Radio. “It’s like every Christmas season, most schools throughout the world will perform the ballet The Nutcracker. But the movie’s a bit different.”
She continues, “It’s not exactly the same story that happens within the ballet, but they kind of created a part for me within the story that’s based on the book.”
In the film, Copeland plays the Ballerina Princess, a dancer who reenacts what happens when Clara’s mother first comes to the Four Realms. Copeland says even though the film is somewhat different than the actual ballet, dance is still an extremely important part.
“They couldn’t have a Nutcracker film and not have ballet in it,” she adds. “I think people would have like boycotted it.”
With the film to hit theaters tomorrow, Copeland is excited and relishes in the notion that she’s not only made history, but lived a life-long dream.
“As a classical dancer that’s not really what we envision happening, like, on our path to like be a part of a film,” she says. “So, it’s just kind of like icing on the cake. It’s like amazing to be able to bring ballet to more mainstream and to have it be something that will live on forever in a Disney film.”
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens nationwide on Friday.