Little Mermaid’s Jonah Hauer-King on ‘pressure’ to do Disney remake ‘justice’ and his bond with Halle Bailey

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Little Mermaid star Jonah Hauer-King has revealed there was “pressure” to do the original film “justice”.

The British actor, who portrays Prince Eric in the live action remake, joined his castmates Melissa McCarthy, and Halle Bailey at the film’s London premiere on Monday night.

In anticipation of its release next week, Hauer-King said that the cast’s hope is to pay homage to the original animated movie while also “bringing it into the now”.

He told The Standard: “There’s some pressure. We really want to do it justice. The original film is such a special film, which I fell in love with growing up, so personally I wanted to make sure it was done right.

“Everyone involved had so much love and respect for it that we wanted to bring as much of that as possible to the screen but also wanted to bring our own creative spirit to it and bring it into now.”

He added: “At the time, although there was some kind of low-level external pressure, we were all so focused day-to-day on telling the story as best we can that it kind of grounded the whole experience.”

The 27-year-old stars opposite triple threat entertainer Halle Bailey, who plays the film’s titular character Ariel, and was full of praise for his co-star as he discussed their close bond.

“She’s so great,” he said. “Halle looked after me. I tried to look after her – not that she needed it – but I really leaned on her a lot. She felt like a sister to me at the end of it and still does.

“She carries the film and it’s such a challenging role because it means so much to so many people – you need the acting chops, the spirit, the charm and you need the voice. All of which she has.”

The actor, 27, was full of praise for his co-star Halle Bailey (Getty Images)
The actor, 27, was full of praise for his co-star Halle Bailey (Getty Images)

Hauer-King is no stranger to working with A-list stars having previously played Naomi Watts’ on-screen son in Once Upon A Time in Staten Island, but being surrounded by so many esteemed actors such as McCarthy and Javier Bardem taught him something very important on set: kindness.

“We all know they’re phenomenal actors and they work incredibly hard, they do their preparation and are wonderfully talented but the way that they behave on set and the way they treat people,” he shared with us.

“I really aspire to it because they are really lovely to everyone. They bring great humour and great positivity to set which is really important. We need more of that so that’s the thing I took from filming the most.”

The Little Mermaid hits UK cinemas on May 26