Meet Jonah Hauer-King — Prince Eric To Halle Bailey's 'Little Mermaid'

Photo: Instagram
7 Facts About Jonah Hauer-King — Prince Eric To Halle Bailey's 'Little Mermaid'

Get ready, because this up-and-coming English actor is going to be part of your world (and the big screen) soon!

After talks with Harry Styles fell through for as-yet undisclosed reasons, Disney has now announced that London native Jonah Hauer-King, 24, will play Prince Eric to Halle Bailey's Ariel in their upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

The film, being directed by Rob Marshall and also featuring Melissa McCarthy as sea witch Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton. Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, is set to begin production in early 2020 — and we can't wait.

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But who, you may ask, is Jonah Hauer-King?

Here are 7 things to know about Jonah Hauer-King and his arguably controversial casting as Prince Eric in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

1. He's already made a name for himself in British films, TV and theater

Rest assured, Hauer-King should be able to do the role of Prince Eric justice.

Among his growing list of impressive credits, he's appeared in films The Song Of Names, A Dog's Way Home and Postcards from London, a 2017 BBC adaptation of Little Women, and opposite Kenneth Branagh in a West End production of The Entertainer.

2. If you're curious about his singing voice, check out his YouTube video!

Not only does Hauer-King have two soundtrack credits under his belt (he's featured on the albums for both Little Women and Postcards from London), but many have admired his cover rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah," which we agree he executes beautifully.

3. Some, including Christian Navarro, have criticized Disney's casting decision

Christian Navarro, known for his role as Tony in popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, has been vocal about his disappointment with Disney for casting "a white guy" in the role opposite Bailey.

In a since-deleted tweet, the actor, who also auditioned for the role, wrote, "Just came back to say; after months of seeing every person of color they could think of for the role of Prince Eric, @DisneyStudios somehow still cast a white guy. I guess diversity is just a word. And THAT'S Hollywood."

While the question of whether or not Jews should be considered white or people of color remains hotly debated, it should not go unmentioned that Hauer-King, who is Jewish, has starred in two recent productions with storylines centering on World War II and the Holocaust — the soon-to-be-released Song of Names and 2019 BBC mini-series World On Fire.

RELATED: Halle Bailey Is The Perfect New 'Little Mermaid' — But The Disney Casting Choice Caused Major #NotMyAriel Controversy

4. He's not ashamed to wield his feminist card

In February 2017, he proudly shared a photo taken at the London Women's March with his followers on Instagram.

5. His Little Women co-star Maya Hawke is among his biggest fans

The Stranger Things actress played Jo March opposite Hauer-King's Laurie Laurence in the BBC's 2017 mini-series adaption of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, and the two have been tight ever since.

Notably, 21-year old Hawke (full name Maya Ray Thurman Hawke) is the daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

Last year, she wished Jonah a happy birthday in a sweet Instagram post, but while some have speculated they may be dating, ET Canada's Morgan Hoffman says her research so far shows they are not.

 

birthday  boy

A post shared by Maya Ray (@maya_hawke) on May 30, 2018 at 9:33am PDT

6. He's got big brains, having graduated from Cambridge University

After spending time Eton College, he transferred to Cambridge, where he graduated in 2017 with a degree in theology and religious studies.

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During an interview he gave while still attending Cambridge, he shared, "My dad never went to university and was always really keen for me to go."

7. The theater is in his blood

Not only is his mom, Debra Hauer, an American theater producer and director, but sister Hannah Hauer-King is artistic director and co-founder of Damsel Productions, a London-based common which aims to "bring together female theatre artists, directors and producers to breathe life into scripts written by women."

RELATED: What Disney Princes Would Look Like If They Were Real-Life Men

Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.