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The next big thing: 'The Little Mermaid' star Jonah Halkin beats Harry Styles and stands up for Halle Bailey

Jonah Hauer-King, as Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action version The Little Mermaid, three months of rehearsals for the segment, which included learning to ride a horse, work with a dog, scuba dive, row a boat and operate a wagon. “I’ve never done so much training in my life,” said the year-old London native , whose credits include A Dog’s Way Home by 1000 and the BBC drama A World on Fire


Hauer-King tried The Little Mermaid

for the first time as a “fun experience” and thought it would never go anywhere. Seven months of auditions followed, including an Ariel-esque moment when he was asked to sing in front of director Rob Marshall the day before (he met Marshall a few weeks later to try again). The actor also auditioned with star Halle Bailey, eventually landing the role that Harry Styles was also looking forward to (“He’s cool and talented, so yeah, it’s cool to be mentioned at the same time,” he says. Saying so about Styles).

Hauer-King – In the film Alan Mencken and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote for the character sang a new solo song – with limited prior musical experience; he joined an indie rock band as a teenager and played Rent in Cambridge .

“We’re both going through something very new, making a movie like this,” he said of himself and Bailey, noting that “she’s obviously in the music business.” The world has a lot more experience than I do, and I’ve probably done some acting more than she does, but in terms of making a film like this, nothing really prepared us.” The two became good friends. Friend – In fact, when Hauer-King first arrived in LA for the Little Mermaid press conference, he went straight to meet Bailey to see her sister Chloe’s concert.

This close connection makes it difficult to see the racist backlash Bailey received for playing Ariel, who, as Halkin admits, “isn’t really understand what it is.”

Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Halle Bailey as Ariel in the new live-action The Little Mermaid.

Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Halle Bailey as Ariel in action The Little Mermaid. Giles Kate / Disney

“Rob and the producers and Disney have not dealt with this movie and this casting has anything to do with it agenda, they just want to cast the best guy for the role,” he continued. “Ultimately, the guy you want with the best voice, the best spirit, the most charisma, charisma and humor and the best acting talent is Halle.”

Prince Eric and Ariel’s relationship in this film is “much more grown-up and grown-up” than in the original, Hauer-King adds, while also seeing some of their iconic material updated: Menken talks about making Change some lyrics to “Kiss the Girl” so it doesn’t look like Eric is forcing himself on Ariel.

While he wasn’t a part of those conversations, the actor said, “My understanding is that there’s something about agreeing and asking to kiss someone , which totally makes sense to me.”

Next, Hauer-Kim as Peacock/Sky Massacre episode Oss The Withing Tattooist star has a major role, which requires him to lose a lot of weight and shave his head. The actor stated that he hopes his career will continue to lead him, “I’m looking for anything that feels different and has variety.”

This story first appeared in the May 05 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe




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